#1
hey everyone i need some help choosing a new amp.... ive been playin for 3 years and havent been in a band yet so all ive been doing is just learning songs and practicing them. Im thinking of starting a greenday cover band soon though, so i need a new amp.... my current amp is a Cube 30X. What kind of wattage will i need to play a standard gig/ battle of the bands kinda thing? Also, im playing a fender showmaster which was second hand when i bought it 3 years ago... will i need to upgrade this or does sound only depend on the amp? help please!!
#2
The sound depends largely on the amp. Your Showmaster is just fine.

You are either looking at solid state amps with 50w and up or tube amps with 15 and up.

First off:
1) Budget?
2) Location?
#3
im in ireland... and my budget is anything up to 400 euro.

i was advised by my local music store to get a 75W tube amp, and i have no idea wheather theyre trying to rip me off... i dont even know the difference between a solid state amp and a tube amp lol :P
#4
A solid state amp works with transistors, tube amps work with vacuum tubes. Except for very few exceptions, tube amps are considered more desireable.

I wouldn't know of a single tube amp that has a 75w power section. Typically they have any wattage between 0-20, above that it's usually 30, 40, 50, 60, 100, 120 and the odd amp with more than that. But 75 is odd. They probably meant a 75w solid state, like a Spider or Vypyr. You should avoid the former like the plague and you can definitely do better than the latter.

Since you're in the UK, and given the music you play, a Marshall DSL401, Marshall JCM900, Laney LC30 or Laney VC30 are options to look into.

The JCM900 is a typical punk amp of the '90s - basically every punk-rock band used it back in the day, so you probably have a pretty good idea of what it sounds like already.
For more recent Green Day tones, the VC30 would be a better choice. It has a softer, more classic distorted tone.
The other two are nice allrounders that will do the trick and can be picked up for cheap on the used market, so if you find one for a good price, it'll do the job just fine.

DSL401 - 40w
JCM900 - 50w or 100w, depending on model
LC30/VC30 - both 30w

All of them are very very loud.

EDIT:
A Jet City JCA 2112 combo is also worth a look:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/jet_city_amplification_112rc.htm

Just under 400 quid, loud and will work well for what you play.
Last edited by TheQuailman at Aug 24, 2010,
#5
cool, thanks a lot, im still a little confused though. My amp now is 30W, and so are both the Laney amps you recommended... does that mean that the amp i have now would be alright and theres no need for an upgrade?

bear in mind im basically a complete noob ha.... would i not need something over 60W anyway???
#6
The two Laneys are much louder than the Cube 30. Strange enough, tube amps (like the four I recommended) seem a lot louder per Watt than solid state amps (generally speaking; as with anything, there are exceptions). While you need at least a 30w solid state for band use, when you have a tube amp, 10w are sufficient. For big stages, 50w of solid state or 15w and up of tube are recommended.

As an example, I use a 50w tube amp, while a friend with whom I jam uses a 50w solid state (and a fairly good solid state, I might add). We play with a drummer. He keeps the volume on his amp at 4-5, while I never turn the master past 2, since my amp is ludicrously loud and would just drown out my friend (and our drummer).

Your cube will struggle when playing in a large room with a loud drummer. Add to that that solid state amps usually begin to sound worse above a certain volume - the Cubes get rather shitty with the master volume above 5.

Tube amps, on the other hand, sound better the more you turn them up. So if you take a tube and a solid state amp of the same wattage and crank the master on both, the tube amp will not only be significantly louder, it will also sound much better.

So all in all, the two Laneys will be louder than your Cube. Even the Jet City, which has ten watts less than the Cube, will still be much louder.
Last edited by TheQuailman at Aug 25, 2010,
#7
#8
This is an MG100 halfstack. It has a 4x12" cabinet, which means better sound projection and more low-end than something with less speakers/less cabinet volume. It is, however, not louder than an equally powerful amp with just one or two speakers.

A big amp sounds nice only if it is a good amp. This one is not. The amp head itself is an oversized beginner amp and the cab is shoddily constructed, small for a 4x12" and comes with poor speakers. Such amps are designed to provide inexperienced players with an amp that looks cool - and that's the only thing good about that thing. It isn't louder than a 30w tube combo and on top of that, it sounds like crap.

If you want a good stack, you're looking at roughly at least 700€ for the cab and the same for the head (speaking of a typical 50w+ head... there's smaller ones that are cheaper). Used equipment would be cheaper, of course.

If you can afford a good stack, it's worth it. If you don't have the money for that, it's better to buy a smaller amp though, because you'll be able to afford something that actually sounds decent then. For the price of the stack you linked to, you can buy a really nice tube combo that would be easily loud enough for stage use.

Volume isn't a problem, either. At small gigs, you won't need much volume, for obvious reasons. At large gigs, your amp will be mic'd and will only need to provide stage volume, while a PA will handle the rest.
Large amps are sort of an anochronism, nobody really NEEDS loud guitar amps anymore, since PA systems are readily available and are needed anyway to ensure the levels of different instruments are balanced. In the '60s, you didn't have such PA systems, so you had to have a loud amp - but it's simply not the case anymore. We buy large tube amps because they have unique tonal characteristics - or we buy large solid state amps because we are n00bs that don't know better.
As long as there's a PA, the smallest of amps will suffice.

It is always better to buy good sounding, small amp than a bad sounding big one. You don't need a halfstack for gigging. And you shouldn't buy one unless you can afford a good one.
#9
Tube amps sound louder than SS amps because they have a greater amount of even order harmonics, and they put out a more compressed signal than SS amps.

A watt is a watt, but a tube amp will still be perceived louder by the human ear.

You don't need a stack to gig, but it does make you look cooler. What would you rather do - sound better, or look cooler? Not saying all SS amps suck, but the majority on the market do, and the MG is really terrible.
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#10
Quote by mark6663
cool, thanks a lot, im still a little confused though. My amp now is 30W, and so are both the Laney amps you recommended... does that mean that the amp i have now would be alright and theres no need for an upgrade?

bear in mind im basically a complete noob ha.... would i not need something over 60W anyway???


Want to point out

Wattage doesnt = sound quality.

There are 5 watt amps thatll sound better than 100 watt amps. And vice versa.

Laney vc would be great for you.

You could get away with the VC15 really, since the prices of laneys have gone up alot more. More than enough volume for gigging. And its lighter than the 30 so less back ache.
#11
^+1 , ^^+1, ^^^+1

you'll want to go for quality over perceived "quantity".
Jenneh

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#12
^ +1

Quote by TheQuailman

Since you're in the UK,


ooooh, international relations fail

other than that, pretty much +1 on what you're saying Only thing to add is that, while lower wattage tube amps are still pretty loud, they don't have tons of headroom- that is, they might be loud enough, but they're going to be distorted at that kind of volume. Anything much under 20-30 watts normally doesn't have a lot of headroom. If you need really clean cleans at loud volumes, you're probably looking at 30 watts, maybe even 50, depending on the amp design and tubes used in the amp (some tubes have more headroom than others).
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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
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#13
^Pfft, islands.

EDIT: Also, I can't believe you read all that. It's seriously tl;dr.
Last edited by TheQuailman at Aug 25, 2010,
#14
oh i just skimmed it.
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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?
#15
My advice...Go with Laney! More bang for your buck and the 30 watt combo that the Quailman mentioned is LOUD!!
#16
cool! thanks a lot everyone.. i still get the feeling that if i go into my local music store (which is pretty tiny) they won't know anything about any of these amps and i'd end up leaving with a Cube 60 or something lol. I'll probably get it off www.thomann.de anyway.... between the 2 laney amps, theres not much of a price difference so i'd definately have to try them out first... that is if i can find them in an Irish music store. Can't find the JCM 900 on thomann... or anywhere else actually.... what do they retail at? The other marshall is around 800e on thomann so the way im thinking, it would want to make my guitar sound pretty awesome compared to the Laney amps as its 300e dearer.... much difference in quality there?
#17
What Marshall costs 800€? Link please.

Also, the JCM900 is not a current production model, you have to pick one up used if you want it. I only mentioned it because it's a typical punk amp and can be found in the UK and Ireland easily for a good price. Between 300 and 400 quid is no problem.
Last edited by TheQuailman at Aug 25, 2010,
#19
musician inc in dublin had laneys last time i was there... that was a couple of years ago, though, for all i know they don't stock them any more, or the shop may even have closed
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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?
#20
Quote by mark6663
cool! thanks a lot everyone.. i still get the feeling that if i go into my local music store (which is pretty tiny) they won't know anything about any of these amps and i'd end up leaving with a Cube 60 or something lol. I'll probably get it off www.thomann.de anyway.... between the 2 laney amps, theres not much of a price difference so i'd definately have to try them out first... that is if i can find them in an Irish music store. Can't find the JCM 900 on thomann... or anywhere else actually.... what do they retail at? The other marshall is around 800e on thomann so the way im thinking, it would want to make my guitar sound pretty awesome compared to the Laney amps as its 300e dearer.... much difference in quality there?


The VC30 is better than the DSL401. I tried out the LC, VC and DSL401 (as well as a few other amps) when i bought the VC.
And IMO the VC30 is better than the LC30. Better cleans, better low gain crunch, sounds better cranked, the LC has more gain though, and its a brighter sounding amp.
#21
Quote by mark6663

I like that amp. It's relatively modern sounding (kinda comparable to the LC30 in that regard. They don't sound the same, but both sound more modern than vintage).

Whether it really is better than the LC or VC is a matter of taste. I like it a lot, but you might feel differently about it. Try it if possible.

Also, looks like the price has gone up again. I wouldn't pay 800€ for it, just not worth it. There's better stuff for that price. You can pick them up used in the UK for cheap, look at ebay (don't know how good the market for used gear is in Ireland). 800€ is definitely too much.

The LC30 and VC30 are just as nice and don't even cost 600€. Don't be tempted just because it says Marshall on the front of the DSL401 - names mean nothing.
Last edited by TheQuailman at Aug 26, 2010,
#22
yeah 800 euro is way too much for a dsl401. Check some of the UK stores, they probably have them for less than thomann. thomann isn't cheaper for everything, for some stuff (e.g. uk-made stuff like the marshall) it's a lot dearer. EDIT: i agree with becky's assessment of the vc30- i prefer it to either the dsl401 or lc30, too. But that's not to say it'll work better for you, it has a very warm, vintage, british tonality, which you may love or hate (or just be indifferent to ).

EDIT: I haven't tried them but it might be worth considering some jet city amps too- if you're willing to go to 800 for the dsl401, the 50 watt combo would probably be within budget.
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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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 26, 2010,
#23
I've just been recommended a Peavey Classic 30... would this be as good as the vc30/lc30 for what i'm playing?
#25
it's broadly similar, yeah. it probably gets a little heavier than the vc30, but it tends to rattle when cranked up. It's also not as good value in the UK/europe as the laneys (though laney prices have increased recently).

Personally, I prefer the vc30, but either the vc30 or classic 30 will work for similar styles.

EDIT: dang beaten to it.
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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?
#26


Yeah the rattling problems the valves isnt it? You can get retainers for em to stop it.

Im pretty sure the C30 had more gain than the VC30 when i tried it.

And like you i preffered the VC. Though it was still a sweet amp, the VC just had more warmth and body which i preffered.
#27
yeah, and it didn't rattle. it might be the valves, not certain.
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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?
#28
cool, just another question... are all these amps (vc30, lc30, C30) pretty versatile?
Like if i was in a cover band, could i go from lets say.... greenday to metallica to RHCP to nirvana?

I dunno, maybe this is a stupid question lol :P
#29
Im pretty sure all those amps could manage those particular bands. VC/C30 could struggle a bit with metallica on its own. Though if your using humbuckers itd probably work. Id reccomend an OD/Distortion pedal for it though.
#30
Crap... metallica's like my favorite band, just done play them that much cos my skill level is barely at that level. Well i have a metal muff distortion pedal and i'm thinking of getting either a flying V/les paul/ SG soon enough. This a good combonation?

Also, which guitar would you recommend?
#31
yeah if you wanna play br00tz (even metallica level br00tz), you'd need a boost. Maybe even consider a jet city or bugera if those are the main tones you're after (i haven't tried either of those, but as far as i'm aware they're more aimed at higher gain shenanigans).

which sg, les paul and v? I'm guessing the SG is the most manageable, but that's not to say it's the best choice.
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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?