#1
My current setup has me playing an old peavey classic 30 through a Marshall MC 412 cab. I am very impressed with the resonance of the cabinet but the driving power of a combo compared to a head just isn't cutting it anymore. I play in a thrashy/ melodic death metal band, which I think will soon start doing some gigging around. However, I need something versatile as well that's going to handle pedals and effects well, as I have a solo project going mixing electro music with guitar (think Ratatat).

So to make a long story short, I need a head, my budget is 1500 CDN.

Looking around, I see alot of varied reviews. Some possible choices I am contemplating are

Marshall JVM 205H for $1400 (alot of channels and apparently decent tone),

a used Marshall JCM800 1984 vintage for $1000 which I found in the classifieds online in decent condition (only one channel but as some would say a "legendary" tone,

or alternatively a Peavey 5150+ $1100 (apparently a great metal tone but may be lacking on reliability and less dirty tones).

I know everyone has their preferences but based on what I've provided I want to know what the community thinks, thanks guys.
#2
The 5150 is anything but unreliable. The US made Peavey amps are known to be workhorses. The 800 is great for anything but super high gain and pristine cleans IMO. No FX loop which could cause problems using certain FX though and even with a boost it could lack the gain for Death. The 5150's cleans aren't the best but they're passable and the drive will work great for Death. The JVM has decent cleans but the gain is buzzy IMO. Not enough gain for Death either. You might want to look into a used Mark III or IV as well. Both are super tight and used by many metal bands and they have great cleans.
E-peen:
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#3
Quote by mmolteratx
The 5150 is anything but unreliable. The US made Peavey amps are known to be workhorses. The 800 is great for anything but super high gain and pristine cleans IMO. No FX loop which could cause problems using certain FX though and even with a boost it could lack the gain for Death. The 5150's cleans aren't the best but they're passable and the drive will work great for Death. The JVM has decent cleans but the gain is buzzy IMO. Not enough gain for Death either. You might want to look into a used Mark III or IV as well. Both are super tight and used by many metal bands and they have great cleans.


Yeah there doesn't seem to be alot of those types of mesa's around here, however, what do you think of the dual rectifier? There's a used one for 1500
#4
i second everything stated above.

see if you can find yourself something like a used mesa mark series (III or IV as mentioned) or even a mesa roadster/road king. those amps will give you incredibly good cleans, your high gain (throw on an od if its not enough for you) and reliability is second to none. alternatively, look into a bogner or engl if you can find a used one in your price range.
#6
They aren't as tight, particularly the 3 channel models. With a TS type OD or an EQ up front you can fix that though. The cleans aren't as nice either but they're still good. The FX loop kind of blows since it can't get 100% wet.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#8
well u can find used splawn amps for around 1400 a quick rod can get all the marshal sounds from plexi- 800 to modded 800 of u could get a nitro which is voiced for low mids and that is excellent for drop tuning protest the hero killswitch engage inhale exhale use them just to name a few
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#9
Quote by EyeHatePunks
Whoever thinks you can't get br00tal with a Marshall JVM has never played one...


They just don't sound br00t4l to me at all after playing better amps. I know plenty who will agree. It can do early Megadeth type stuff and that's about it.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

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#10
Quote by Tedward
not sure how high-gain tones are, but you could check out some Traynor heads...

http://www.traynoramps.com/products.asp?id=404&cat=60&type=1


Also, Egnater is coming out with the Armageddon and the Vengeance, both look REALLY good as far as the demos show...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHWmpG66YWM


That Egnater looks like the cat's pajamas. Any info on availability or price?
#11
i would have to agree. i dont think they (JVM) sound all that great for their high gain sound. i think they're more of a modern hard rock sound (Hinder, Saving Abel, etc.). they can hit metal, but not death. its already been said, its buzzy sounding. i've played around with them a lot and its not a matter of EQing it. its just the way it is.
#12
Yeah early Megadeth - that's why Dave uses them nowadays...

Seriously, the JVM packs more than enough gain and punch for any kind of Metal! More low end and gain will just result in noise and drown out when playing with a band.

All those fancy ultra-metal sounds are cool to mess arround with alone but they drown in the mix. The JVM is used by Trivium, Hatebreed and In Flames - and it delivers the goods.

Change the cheap Chinese tubes and you get rid of the buzzy distortion too!
#13
Dave uses a shit ton of amps. You can hardly believe what you see in a Marshall ad. And I've played them with different tubes, the fizz and buzz is still there.

IIRC Trivium just supposedly made the switch to JVMs, so they probably haven't recorded anything with them. I'm not a huge fan so I wouldn't know. I have no idea what Hatebreed or In Flames use.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#14
Also Michael Amott from Arch Enemy switched to using Marshall JVMs and they sound great live together with the Peavey 6505s of his brother...

Like I said, the extreme amount of Low end and distortion that most metal amps deliver is just way over the top in a band picture. Playing an Engl Powerball (or alike) sounds awesome but it totally drowns in it's own distortion with another guitar, bass and drums.

You need an Amp that cuts through the mix and has a reasonable amount of distortion - the heavyness comes from tight playing and the other instruments working together.
#15
Quote by mmolteratx
They aren't as tight, particularly the 3 channel models. With a TS type OD or an EQ up front you can fix that though. The cleans aren't as nice either but they're still good. The FX loop kind of blows since it can't get 100% wet.


What about a Triple Rec? Any better?
#16
There are plenty of amps with massive amounts of gain that cut through fine in a band situation. A Powerball is a poor example, pretty much anyone who's played one knows that it would be poor when playing with a band. Amps like the Mark series, Soldanos, Engls such as the Invader or Savage, etc. There are dozens if not hundreds of them. I'll agree that heaviness does somewhat come from playing and being in a band situation. The bass does wonders for making a guitar sound bigger.

^Nah, it's the same amp with a bigger power section.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#17
Quote by mmolteratx
There are plenty of amps with massive amounts of gain that cut through fine in a band situation. A Powerball is a poor example, pretty much anyone who's played one knows that it would be poor when playing with a band. Amps like the Mark series, Soldanos, Engls such as the Invader or Savage, etc. There are dozens if not hundreds of them. I'll agree that heaviness does somewhat come from playing and being in a band situation. The bass does wonders for making a guitar sound bigger.

^Nah, it's the same amp with a bigger power section.


Agreed and agreed. That gives me some good options going forward. Thanks alot for your help.
#18
Quote by Tallica9000
That Egnater looks like the cat's pajamas. Any info on availability or price?



The Armageddon is around $1500/1600, about the same as the Tourmaster... it has all kinds of features,,, XLR inputs, extra channels, built in ISP Decimator..


The Vengeance will be cheaper, basically a barebones Armageddon.
#20
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Yeah, I've been real happy with the amps Egnater is putting out right now. Renegade and Tweaker are cool too.


TS - of the amps you listed I'd get the 5150 but I'm not sure why it is so pricy. Does that include a cab?


I listed the wrong amp. I was actually thinking of the 6505 plus, not the 5150. It's the same price though.
#21
A 5150 for... $1100...? WHAT???

5150 = 6505, 5150 II = 6505+

Out of the amps you listed, the Peavey is the best one for what you want IMO, but I'd find one used for half that price and buy a nicer cab


Quote by Tallica9000
Yeah there doesn't seem to be alot of those types of mesa's around here, however, what do you think of the dual rectifier? There's a used one for 1500

That's a horrible deal.

I realize you're in Canada, but you can get a Dual Recto in the US for $900, the exchange rate isn't THAT giant


P.S. If you want a Splawn, AcousticMirror is selling a QR for very cheap.
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Last edited by MatrixClaw at Jul 3, 2010,
#22
Quote by selkies
well u can find used splawn amps for around 1400 a quick rod can get all the marshal sounds from plexi- 800 to modded 800 of u could get a nitro which is voiced for low mids and that is excellent for drop tuning protest the hero killswitch engage inhale exhale use them just to name a few

I was going to say this.

Splawn amps are "Marshalls on steroids."

If you can find a used one, it would be significantly better than a JVM or stock JCM 800.

The Nitro has a bit more of a modern voice than the Quick Rod, but both can still do metal very well.

They are hard to find on the used market though.

If you can't get a used Splawn, I recommend a Mesa Mark IV or V.
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#23
actually thats not a bad idea. i'm in canada as well and he's right. the exchange rate isn't all that much. it might actually be worth it to drive down to pick up a used mesa (or whatever else you're into). i know for sure i've never seen a dual recto go for less than $1500 here, and a mark series for under $1200-1800 depending on model. i have however seen a guy selling a mesa road king II for $1300 or 1800 with cab which for our standards is incredibly cheap. i contacted him and he said reason was he lost job and needs money. anyway, i'm off topic. i say you might want to look into american craigslist and see what they have floating around in closest major city.
#24
btw ratatat does not mix electro with guitar music. I've seen them play and I've been listening to them since way back when.

they make electro music with analog guitar effects.
simian does the same with with old school analog sequencers and synthesizers.
don't confuse that with pure electro music/beat sampling/digital creation. That's not what they do.

get it right
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#25
Quote by User_Name336
actually thats not a bad idea. i'm in canada as well and he's right. the exchange rate isn't all that much. it might actually be worth it to drive down to pick up a used mesa (or whatever else you're into). i know for sure i've never seen a dual recto go for less than $1500 here, and a mark series for under $1200-1800 depending on model. i have however seen a guy selling a mesa road king II for $1300 or 1800 with cab which for our standards is incredibly cheap. i contacted him and he said reason was he lost job and needs money. anyway, i'm off topic. i say you might want to look into american craigslist and see what they have floating around in closest major city.


Nice to see a fellow Canuck.

I found a used mark IV about 2 hours away from me in a town for 1400. That looks like my best option right now for price and convenience.
#26
Quote by AcousticMirror
btw ratatat does not mix electro with guitar music. I've seen them play and I've been listening to them since way back when.

they make electro music with analog guitar effects.
simian does the same with with old school analog sequencers and synthesizers.
don't confuse that with pure electro music/beat sampling/digital creation. That's not what they do.

get it right


Whoa now, I merely meant that they are mixing the musical styles. I wasn't suggesting how they made it. I've been listening for a long while as well and I know that they use the analog effects. That's why I like em. However, I'm fairly sure that they use some sort of sequencing to make some of their beats.
#27
Single channel JCM800?
I think we have a winner!
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#28
Quote by Tallica9000
Whoa now, I merely meant that they are mixing the musical styles. I wasn't suggesting how they made it. I've been listening for a long while as well and I know that they use the analog effects. That's why I like em. However, I'm fairly sure that they use some sort of sequencing to make some of their beats.


ya I don't think they use guitars for the beats either. i was just kidding.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#29
Quote by Tallica9000
Nice to see a fellow Canuck.

I found a used mark IV about 2 hours away from me in a town for 1400. That looks like my best option right now for price and convenience.

actually, thats a great find. go check that out as soon as possible. i dont think it'll be available for all that long. i'd jump on that if its working order. those are great amps my friend. tell us how you like if it you do go check it out!
#30
On another note, I am considering the splawn amps as well, if I like the tone. However I won't probably be able to get to try one up here before I buy. Will going in and demoing a marshall head give me a faint idea of what they will sound like? (with a heck of alot less distortion obviously).