#1
Looking for a versatile combo amp that can play thrash metal, all '80s metal, modern metal, classic rock, hard rock, and can also handle nice cleans and crunch for whatever situations I may need.

Price range: ~$600-800 USD. Less would be great also.

My favorite band is Megadeth. Other favorite artists include Marty Friedman (solo), Cacophony, Anthrax, Exodus, early Metallica, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Testament, Rage Against the Machine, Pantera, Slayer, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Kiss, Lamb of God, Van Halen, the Scorpions, Black Sabbath, Chimaira, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rush, and Dio. Bolded are artists that I tend to care more about (to sound like, etc) slightly more than others.

I'm willing to go used assuming quality is assured and I'm not going to have to replace tubes, etc. If it's not a significant drop in price, I'd prefer new.

I play in an alt rock/hard rock band casually, and I jam with my drummer friend, who is more in line with my preferred genre. The main guitarist I play with has a 100W solid state (lol), I would like to have a 50ish+W TUBE combo to be heard over them. I cannot afford a stack at the moment, so heads will not be considered.

Closest city: Memphis, TN.

Current gear:
Jackson Kelly KE3, Licensed FR, (awesome) stock SD Passives.
Boss GT-10 MFX Processor.


I'm not picky on brands. I'm willing to try most of anything cost allowing. I was previously looking at a Peavey 6505+ 112 but I'm worried about the cleans, the sound quality (speaker), and the lack of versatility. I have not played it, so that is just acquired knowledge. I'm very sensitive to versatility. I do have my GT-10 (which will be 4 cabled) for boosting/tone modifications, so take that into consideration. I would love to have good cleans with headroom without having too much effect flooding to make them decent. Crunch for rhythm would be cool, but is not necessary.

Things I'm looking at:
A good deal on an ENGL Thunder. I saw one on Ebay for $650 but I waited too long to check it out. I've heard good things on Youtube, but it is Youtube. Is it decent?

Things I'm curious about:
Jet City. I've never tried these things out but I've heard good things.
Bugera. I've heard VERY mixed reviews: great tone, but poor reliability. I don't want a lemon.


REMEMBER, VERSATILITY please.
Last edited by Immora at Mar 22, 2011,
#2
for the stuff your doing you dont need a super crazy amount of gain. my bugera 6260 (a 6505 clone) gets enough gain for thrash on the crunch mode alone. the jet city will probably serve you well, though personally i dont like the 20w as well without an overdrive in front of it. bugeras quality isnt as bad as its made out to be. they are good amps especially for the money.
#3
Peavey Vypyr Tube 120
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#4
Quote by guitarpatrick66
for the stuff your doing you dont need a super crazy amount of gain. my bugera 6260 (a 6505 clone) gets enough gain for thrash on the crunch mode alone. the jet city will probably serve you well, though personally i dont like the 20w as well without an overdrive in front of it. bugeras quality isnt as bad as its made out to be. they are good amps especially for the money.


I've heard about it. If it's a clone, why not get the 6505? I know a 212 is cheaper than a Peavey 112, but the price does scare me a little. Also, Peavey's are basically indestructible. I'll take your word that Bugera is better than the hype, but I'm a little afraid that I'm going to get what I pay for. Not saying that's a no, but I'll take some convincing.


Edit: Could you be a little more specific on the Jet City? I literally know nothing about them. I didn't even know they existed until I started reading this forum.

And no modeling amps like the Vypyr.
Last edited by Immora at Mar 22, 2011,
#6
In terms of Bugera, I prefer the 333XL over any of the others. Great cleans and extremely versatile. Bugera had a lot of QC problems in their first production run in 2008, but the design flaw that caused the failures was fixed and now they seem about as reliable as any other mass-produced amp in the price range. The only problem I've heard recently is that some of them ship with improper power tube biasing.

I'm in a similar situation as you looking for a new amp, and I'm between the 333XL and the Carvin V3M, which looks amazing. 50 watts (scalable to 22 or 7), American-made, supposedly very versatile. Only problem is they don't start shipping for a week or so, so there aren't a whole lot of clips. The ones that are available sound amazing, though, and the combo is going for $699 so it's right in your price range.
Last edited by iro-bot31 at Mar 22, 2011,
#7
i would say the jet city JCA50 or similar. add a boost and you should be good to go.
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#8
Quote by AxSilentxLine
Used Carvin V3
Used Peavey JSX/XXX
Used Marshall JVM
Used Engl Blackmore

+345234235 to the XXX and Blackmore

Seriously, I have a Peavey Ultra 120 (basically a XXX) and I ****ing love it. I play progressive and hardcore mainly, which requires not only a great high gain tone, but a good clean channel. I can honestly say that it get's just as brutal as my 6505 and sparkly clean and everything inbetween.
#9
Quote by Immora
I've heard about it. If it's a clone, why not get the 6505? I know a 212 is cheaper than a Peavey 112, but the price does scare me a little. Also, Peavey's are basically indestructible. I'll take your word that Bugera is better than the hype, but I'm a little afraid that I'm going to get what I pay for. Not saying that's a no, but I'll take some convincing.


Edit: Could you be a little more specific on the Jet City? I literally know nothing about them. I didn't even know they existed until I started reading this forum.

And no modeling amps like the Vypyr.


i wasnt reccomending the 6260 just simply stating you dont need all the gain it has, which honestly, is its only real selling point.

jet city is a company i overlooked til people reccomended them like crazy on this forum. then i tried it and the 20w was decent (im a heavy metal guy and need more gain than it has). however, if i didnt play heavy metal than i would have gotten the jet city in a heartbeat.

not saying you should heavily consider it, but i do love the vypyr tube its definitly the best moddler out there, even better than the vetta. well i guess the axe fx is better but its way out of your price range.

the peavey jsx that others reccomended is amazing. great amp, definitly consider it. havnt tried the engl, but ive tried other engls and they rock.
#10
Quote by guitarpatrick66
i wasnt reccomending the 6260 just simply stating you dont need all the gain it has, which honestly, is its only real selling point.

jet city is a company i overlooked til people reccomended them like crazy on this forum. then i tried it and the 20w was decent (im a heavy metal guy and need more gain than it has). however, if i didnt play heavy metal than i would have gotten the jet city in a heartbeat.

not saying you should heavily consider it, but i do love the vypyr tube its definitly the best moddler out there, even better than the vetta. well i guess the axe fx is better but its way out of your price range.

the peavey jsx that others reccomended is amazing. great amp, definitly consider it. havnt tried the engl, but ive tried other engls and they rock.


Gotcha. I'll try out a JC next time I go to GC.


Thanks a lot for the responses. I'm really excited about that Carvin V3 tip. I'm really loving the tone, but I'm afraid it's going to be too hard to get a used one, and it may be too loud for casual playing.

I looked into the XXX. It has a decent tone, and the cleans are very good as you mentioned, but it's lacking the 'flavor' of amps like the V3 and ENGLs. Not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me. :S

Marshall JVM: Good amp, very well rounded. However I think its in the same boat as the Carvin price-wise.


Thanks for the tips so far guys, I'm keeping an eye on Ebay for the Carvin, ENGL, and Marshall.
#11
I'm going to assume as well that the lack of 6505+ love is a sign that it's over-hyped and/or doesn't fit what I'm looking for. Is this correct?
#12
Well, the 6505 is basically amazing for all really heavy modern metal, but lacks in other categories. I play alot of the stuff that the 6505 is perfect for, that's why I have one. There's a long story on why I got the Ultra. I was originally buying a Mark IV for super cheap which popped up right before I was going on holidays for a week. I bought a used Mesa 212 for it after I talked to the guy and got him to hold onto the Mark for me. We couldn't meet up before I left, and he said it would be there when I got back from my holiday but I guess he decided to sell it on me.

None of that is important at all But long story short, I had this amazing, $600 cab sitting around, not being used and I heard great things about this Ultra. It was on my kijiji for $250 and I had the money sitting around so I decided to get it. I've since fallen in love with it. So versatile and get's me into brutal territory just as well as my 6505. The 6505 is probably superior for modern metal/hardcore tone, but I like the Ultra more because the 6505's tone is used on probably 80% of the albums I listen to so I just like having it sound a bit different.

IMO, the 6505 isn't really over hyped. Generally, the things you hear about it on here are pretty spot on. Altough the cleans aren't as bad as people say.
Last edited by Levi79 at Mar 23, 2011,
#13
6505 Is the daddy of modern metal without it we would still be listen to the older iron maiden type metal imo
so i dont see any harm in 6505 being overhyped
#14
Quote by deepsal
6505 Is the daddy of modern metal without it we would still be listen to the older iron maiden type metal imo
so i dont see any harm in 6505 being overhyped


Excuse me?
It IS overhyped. Masses of gain=/= good tone. And tone=/=musical creativity.
Last time I looked, Metallica used Mesa Mark II's on MoP......Maiden happens to be one of their influences. Petrucci used Mark's as well. Bulb uses ENGL's and the Axe Fx. No 6505 in sight.
And without it, EVH would have gone and bought a Recto. And EVH was never a metal artist. The 5150 was originally made for him.
As for modern metal.....meh. 80% of 6505/5150 users are metalcore.
EDIT

Quote by Immora
I'm going to assume as well that the lack of 6505+ love is a sign that it's over-hyped and/or doesn't fit what I'm looking for. Is this correct?


As an amp that dishes out high gain br00tz, not over hype.
As an amp that is actually half versatile....well, I need not go there.
It does what it does incredibly well. One of the most brutal dist channels in the business. Its just that its incapable of doing anything more than ultra tight metal.
Last edited by GS LEAD 5 at Mar 23, 2011,
#15
Well tube or no tube. Get an Ampeg VH-140C. That will suit your needs. you can find one for $400 or less. ALL the old school death metal bands used it.

You wont find a really good tube amp in that price range. 6505+ is way overhyped.

I owned one for three years and gladly sold it a while back.


I would go that route until you can save enough to buy a really nice amp.
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#16
Quote by deepsal
6505 Is the daddy of modern metal without it we would still be listen to the older iron maiden type metal imo
so i dont see any harm in 6505 being overhyped


You make that sound such the bad thing...
#17
Good thread - good recommendations in here. Now if only I could get a head and decent 2x12 cab for $700...

Guy was selling a 5150II half stack on craigslist for $750, it sold in 2 days. Would have snagged it in a heartbeat but I literally bought a $350 guitar the week before, and a $500 guitar the day before...
#18
I think right now my number 1 choice would be that Carvin V3, but in the chance that I can't get one used, I would like some alternatives closer to my price range.
#19
V3 is definitly a fine choice. also look into a bugera 333xl if you can get over the bugera name on it. also look for used marshalls. do some research on any specific marshall you see, but i see a lot of used marshalls in my area and there are a lot of different ones that will do what you want.
#22
I had no idea used Marshalls went for as low as they do. Is there some sort of website or trading group that specializes in (used) guitar equipment/amps? I've always gone to Ebay, but I don't have any experience buying second-hand gear.
#24
Have you thought about getting a combo with extremely nice cleans, and just running the GT thru the effect loop for your tone shaping?

I'm a fan of the GT personally, that's what I would do. If you take the time to program the patches, you can get some fantastic tones out of the unit.

Just throwing the idea out there.
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#25
Sorry but that's a really bad idea. It pretty much defeats the purpose of buying a nice amp if I'm not going to use it's tone.
#26
Quick question about JCM 2000s.

People seem to like DSLs more than the TSLs even though the TSLs do have 3 channels. Is this due to effects lost, a significant tone difference, or something else? My understanding is that the third channel is the only difference.
#27
Not read it all, but look at the Bugera 333xl. May be something that would work for you
#28
Peavey JSX w/ EL34's. Do ittttt
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#29
Carvin V3 or Bugera 333XL.

The Bugera has amazing versatility, and can take any tube you throw at it.
It's similar to a Peavey JSX, but haz such a huge range of tones.
It can pull off the JCM 900 tone very well, has a great Uberschall style lead channel if set right,
and then if you chuck some 6L6's in it you head into XXX/5150/6505 territory.
Also, the new ones have Infinium, which adjusts the bias over the life of the tubes
so they last longer and sound great up until the day they die.
#30
Mesa boogie Rectoverb head or combo will do all you want.
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#31
The JCM DSL is crap I personaly think that it was one of Marshalls worst amps. The TSL is arguably one of Marshalls best amps. The DSL sounds very undefined, not the typical "muddyness" of a hi gain head. The TSL is great for just about any thing you can throw at it.

Jet City is another amp that I would like to try, but I'm waiting for the JCA 22h that has the SLO overdrive channel later this year.

I use a Bugerra 333 head and I can find no reason that you shouldn't buy it. The tones are great any thing from sparkly cleans to brootal distortion.I have had mine for 1 1/2 yrs and the only problem I have had is the standby light burnt out($1.50). The first run like people have stated had "issues", but those were remidied. And as far as sound quality, I run my 333 through a Krank Rev 4x12, and it will keep up with our other guitarists JSX and Mesa Dual though his Recto 4x12. Most people don't even look at your amp name any ways its the "sound", and most people think mine says "Bogner" any ways, you should see their face when I tell them it it's a $430 Bugera!!
#32
Haven't seen the Bugera 1990 recommended yet, so I'll just throw that in there. I own one and play the exact same music as TS. I use a 2x12 with a Eminence Red Coat Governor and an Eminence Swamp Thang. Throw a boost in front of it and you can almost hit KsE territory with it. Plenty of gain and tons of balls on that thing.

EDIT: I think I payed less that 700 for both amp and cab new. So the price is right.
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#33
Quote by Robbgnarly
The JCM DSL is crap I personaly think that it was one of Marshalls worst amps. The TSL is arguably one of Marshalls best amps. The DSL sounds very undefined, not the typical "muddyness" of a hi gain head. The TSL is great for just about any thing you can throw at it.

Jet City is another amp that I would like to try, but I'm waiting for the JCA 22h that has the SLO overdrive channel later this year.

I use a Bugerra 333 head and I can find no reason that you shouldn't buy it. The tones are great any thing from sparkly cleans to brootal distortion.I have had mine for 1 1/2 yrs and the only problem I have had is the standby light burnt out($1.50). The first run like people have stated had "issues", but those were remidied. And as far as sound quality, I run my 333 through a Krank Rev 4x12, and it will keep up with our other guitarists JSX and Mesa Dual though his Recto 4x12. Most people don't even look at your amp name any ways its the "sound", and most people think mine says "Bogner" any ways, you should see their face when I tell them it it's a $430 Bugera!!


That's interesting about the DSL because that's the exact opposite of what I've heard from everyone else.
#34
Looked into the Marshall JCM 2000s and apparently they have some QC issues. I'll pass on that.

Still taking suggestions. Right now it looks like my best choice is the Carvin V3, but it isn't as common (to buy used) as I'd like it to be, so the price is an issue.