hey guys sorry for another which amp thread but i am really having a prob here.

ive spent the past 3 weeks reading reviews, listening to demos and that kinda stuff on choosing my first tube amp but i still cant decide.

i have a budget of 300-500 pounds and mainly play music along the lines of metallica, GnR, Led Zeppellin etc

I dont exactly need fantastic cleans (though it would be a bonus if i did have)

I am currently looking at the bugera 333(XL), 6262, blackstar ht5 and the egnater tweaker

I play 90% of the time in my bedroom and 10% of the time at uni events so i need something that i can play at bedroom levels (flat in central london with neighbours on both sides, upstairs and downstairs as well)

From what i have read, some people have said the 120 watt bugeras can played at bedroom levels with a decent tone but some people have said that even the 5w blackstar ht5 is loud when cranked at bedroom levels

My budget of 300-500 pounds has to include a cab (harley benton 2X12 with v30s) if its only a head though i dont mind combos if its not too much a compromise on the sound.

I would like an amp with reverb if possible (though this is not a must)

I also have a digitech bad monkey if that matters.

Any other suggestions apart from the ones ive looked at? (ps i find the jet city amps ugly haha but if they are the best option i would mind considering them)
A Blackstar HT-5 would do you just fine. You won't be needing the wattage of those Bugeras. Some people like the wattage for more headroom (and a little more ballsy sound I guess) but since you're not too concerned about cleans, a shitload of headroom seems pointless for you, and even a smaller amp can get ballsy if you hook it up to a cab with nice speakers. I can't comment on the egnater tweaker. 5 tube watts is more than enough for bedroom level. I bet you will never crank an amp like the HT-5 past 10 o' clock in an apartment.

I would look into a Laney as well, they have some pretty good stuff. Some people will come here and say that some Laney's can't do metal - especially Metallica - but an LC15 or VC15 will be able to. I've tried it myself. That Bad Monkey will be just the boost you need. Some EQ-ing, and the rest is all up to your fingers. You should check them out, they're in the same price range as the HT-5.

This is something to consider: If you bought the HT-5 stack, you could place the two cabs in two spots instead of putting them on top of each other or right next to each other. You could get a nice stereo sound that way. Might be worth saving up some extra cash for that...
the stack will cost 400 pounds so thats fine. its just that when the blackstar first came out there was so much hype about it but now the prices have gone up and people are saying the blackstars arent that great. this will be my last amp buy in a very long time (never gonna be gigging much, mostly at bedroom levels, can always be mic-ed up) so i dont wanna make a mistake.

the bugeras come with reverb and seemingly so many more features so they look kinda tempting. if they sound better and cost about the same as a ht5 and can be played at bedroom levels, why would one choose a ht5 over a bugera? (i cant really crank a ht5 or a bugera anyway)
Yeah those bugeras as much i hate on them i wouldnt even recommend the peaveys they're based on for the sounds you're after. Maybe look at a marshall jcm900 or maybe if your lucky a jcm800 combo as said above.
Last edited by coolstoryangus at Aug 16, 2010,
i would prefer to buy new if possible and im not really interested in the marshalls.
I'm sorry, I misread. 300-500 POUNDS. Then I will chime in again and also comment on what others have said:

The Bugeras you suggested, as coolstoryangus pointed out, are based off of Peavey's. That's not the sound you're looking for, you definitely want a more British-voiced amp. The Bugera, which I forgot to mention, has rumors of being quite unreliable (i.e. poor quality, not always built well etc.) so I would personally not invest in any brand that has such a widespread rumor. I may be wrong about them, but regardless, you want to look elsewhere. The Blackstar, I recommended out of all four amps you mentioned, but I would not recommend it against a Laney. People have said the Bugeras sound decent at bedroom level? For the same price or even less, you could get an amp that sounds great at bedroom level. And more likely more reliable.

Reiteration: I recommend a Laney. They're not too far off a Marshall, and quite cheaper. Again, you don't need that amount of wattage. 15W tops should be enough. Some people recommended a JCM 800/900 combo. I've owned an 80's JCM 800 combo. Great amp, really. But you need to crank it a bit. Mine had a Master Volume, and yeah, it sounded pretty good even on lower volumes but a 1x12" speaker begs for a bit more volume. Once you have tried it cranked, it might be hard to return to bedroom levels, but that's just my opinion.

So here is what I recommend, based off of own experience:

Laney VC15. 15 watts, 10" speaker, two channels. Reverb and FX loop. I've tried it with a Bad Monkey. Playing what you want to play will not be a problem. The LC15 is a single-channel version with a Celestion speaker instead of a Jensen. I haven't tried the LC15 myself but apparently the VC15 is voiced a bit more vintage, whereas the LC15 is more modern sounding. The VC15 is what I personally will be buying when I have enough money for it.

JCM 800 Combo. 50 watts, 12" speaker. The one I had came with two channels and reverb. Might be overkill in the bedroom, but will sound really great when you can turn up the volume knob past 1 or 2. I used to have a Tube Screamer that I put in front of the amp. Sounded killer. I only sold it because it was too big to keep around.

EDIT: Nevermind, you don't want to buy used and you're not interested in Marshalls. Get a Laney.
Last edited by Metallon at Aug 16, 2010,
i do play stuff by vai, slayer, megadeth, lamb of god, a7x etc as well (basically i play anything on the heavier side of things) and im not looking to entirely replicate their tones (just getting in the right ballpark will be fine).

im just a bit skeptical (for no reason at all) about the laney as in the 3 weeks of research ive been doing, the laney never even came up at all. the marshalls rarely came out. there must be a reason theres so much hype over the jet citys, the blackstars and the bugeras (lol i know im being stupid but yeah i need convincing haha)
haha people are irrational my friend. is it so hard to understand that some people dont like fenders and some people dont like gibsons or wtv?
Um yeah. It is actually. 99% of the time it's because people have convinced themselves of some arbitrary preference in the belief that it makes them more sophisticated/experienced.

While the jcm900 is NOT the best marshall out there by any means, it will destroy everything else listed and come as close as you can within budget to the tones you described.

They are very sturdy/reliable and sell used very cheap (350-500 if you hunt).

Not to mention that every band you have listed used/uses marshall at one point if not exclusively.
true but blackstar and bugera and egnater were virtually unheard of back then so of course they used marshalls
I've got an HT-5. It is a bit loud to get the best out of it when there are other people in the house. What kind of uni events are you planning on using your amp at? If we're talking jamming sessions, small gigs, whatever then the HT-5 will probably be too quiet.
Is the HT-5 really that low quality? I've heard plenty of good from it. Except for the transformer. I'm wary of that transformer.

Anyway, I've no idea what or how or where you researched, but I'm surprised neither Laney nor Marshall showed up. I think they're both excellent amps, and versatile enough for me (I play clean, blues, rock, hard rock, progressive rock, heavy metal and progressive metal).

Most people who think amps like Laneys are too vintage and not metal enough, are most likely not able to work their stuff properly. Assuming you're a good player, have a decent guitar with good pickups, then all that's left is either boosting, EQ-ing or get the proper speakers. If you were to purchase a Laney, then just boost it with your Bad Monkey, put an EQ-pedal in the FX loops and shape the tone as you please. That way, with the FX loops off, you could move from cleans to blues to rock to 70's and 80's heavy metal. An EQ-pedal like the MXR will have a boost as well, so that boost coupled with the proper EQ-ing will definitely get you enough gain and shape your tone enough to let you play any contemporary metal.
Quote by coolstoryangus
if OP gets the blackstar ht5 he can take pride in having possible the most loved amp on GG&A

When you've been here more than a couple of weeks you'll be used to the bandwaggoning here. The HT-5 is a perfectly good piece of kit for the price.
Quote by Metallon

Most people who think amps like Laneys are too vintage and not metal enough, are most likely not able to work their stuff properly.

That or theyve never been introduced to the Laney AOR

The ht-5 is ok, but not very well built and the drive is overrated IMO.
If you can pick one up used for 200 its a good deal, but otherwise there is better stuff out there.
I for one can't stand the HT-5 but that's just my opinion. Take these suggestions, try the amps and let your ears decide. You can probably pick up a Blackstar HT-40 combo for that budget which yould be great for those tones. If you have to have a head and cab, used JCM900, DSL100 or Laney AOR 50

^ EDIT: beat me to the AOR 50
and all of these amps can be played at bedroom levels? (ie about loud conversational levels?)
Quote by justintga
and all of these amps can be played at bedroom levels? (ie about loud conversational levels?)

Try and get the myth of having to play tube amps loud to sound good out of mind. Unless you're going for a cranked Jimmy Page tone you don't need to worry. Yes, they are fine at conversation levels
okay so if i go with the blackstars, do i get a:

1. ht5 head with a harley benton 2X12 cab (400 pounds)
2. ht5 combo (300 pounds)
3. ht5 mini stack (400 pounds)
4. ht20 combo (450 pounds)
how about:

A. ht5 combo + bareknuckle pickups (500 pounds)
B. ht20 combo (450 pounds)

lol cuz my max budget is 500 pounds
Quote by coolstoryangus
if OP gets the blackstar ht5 he can take pride in having possible the most loved amp on GG&A

not quite true, a lot of people (me included) really aren't massive blackstar fans at all...

HT20 on the other hand is an OK idea, but let me reiterate
a used JCM900 will blow EVERY other amp listed out of the water!
I can't really say much about the amps since I have never personally tried any but yeah, focus on a good amp first, its usually more important then your guitar.

But for the future, Bareknuckles are amazing pickups. I just installed a pair of nailbombs on my LTD EC-1000 and although I haven't fixed all the grounding issues, they sound amazing.

Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head
Mills Acoustics Mach 212B
Peavey Vypyr 15w
ESP LTD EC-1000 guitar (BKP Nailbombs)
Fender American Standard Strat
PRS Custom 24
Dunlop KH Signature Wah
Menatone Red Snapper
Boss DD-7 Delay
Zvex Fuzz Factory
will ANY marshall jcm900 do? should i get the combo or a head. the prices seem to vary like crazy on used units.
Laney Lionheart or VC15!
Lionheart is a high quality amp, so if you're not buying a new amp in a long time and like the sound of it then add it to your list. I want one so bad but I'll stick with my VC15 for now and I'm also playing Zep, rock and hard rock style music.
I have a feeling justin is simply looking for people who will confirm that he should get what his mind is already set on. There is no way he's going to get a Laney or a Marshall. So just let him buy a Blackstar and be done with it.
the idea of this thread was to narrow down my selection. haha now im just being bombarded with more and more choices.
okay ive narrowed it down to the blackstar ht5 and the jet city 20w. i cant seem to find a used jcm900 in london for that price.

the blackstar doesnt come with reverb. will the jet city be okay for bedroom levels because its a single channel amp (not sure if this makes a difference)?