#1
Okay, I've been a guitarist for 6 years and Im moving soon, so I'll actually have enough room for some real gear Now Im supposed to check out amps tomorrow
So here's my questions:

1: what is a cabinet? Is it like a half stack except you can choose any head youd like with it? Or is a half stack just a amp head on top of a cabinet? what's the difference between the two?


2: my friend let me try out his peavy half stack and it sounded amazing!! He said it is because the amp has tubes?
- What are tubes?

- How can you identify if an amp has tubes (just research?)

- Where are tubes located? The amp head I assume

- my friend who let me try his amp said "get one with tubes. It turns the half stack from
sounding like shit to sounding amazing". Are tubes really essential in an amp for it to
have great tone? Or would you just recommend them?

3: Is there any general advice you have for me before I go out and spend some serious cash on an amp? I'd really appreciate it!

Thanks for any help.
Last edited by vincemyatt at Apr 16, 2011,
#3
1 - Cabinet is what the amp head sits on. It houses the speakers so that the amp head can be heard.

2 - Most professional amps you hear still use vacuum tubes. They're the glass cylinders you see in the back of the amp head. You can usually tell pretty quickly if an amp is a tube amp or not. They aren't essential, but many people prefer them to solid state transistors, because their distortion is less harsh. It's all a matter of taste.

3 - Yes. For the love of god, don't go out and buy the most expensive amp you can. We need to know budget, musical style, and intended use (bedroom or gigging) before we can really help you out, though.
Kodiak bears make awesome bandmates.

Quote by wolvenrick
no seriously 7x NGD is epicness i declare you the winner of all NGD's on UG never have i seen this xD
#4
Quote by vincemyatt
1: what is a cabinet? Is it like a half stack except you can choose any head youd like with it? Or is a half stack just a amp head on top of a cabinet? what's the difference between the two?

A halfstack is an amp head plugged into a cabinet.

Quote by vincemyatt
2: my friend let me try out his peavy half stack and it sounded amazing!! He said it is because the amp has tubes?
- What are tubes?

- How can you identify if an amp has tubes (just research?)

- Where are tubes located? The amp head I assume

- my friend who let me try his amp said "get one with tubes. It turns the half stack from sounding like shit to sounding amazing". Are tubes really essential in an amp for it to have great tone? Or would you just recommend them?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valve_amplifier

Usually the tubes will be easy to see if you take a look at the back of the amp head, or through any hole you can peer into. If you turn the amp on, they'll glow. You don't NEED a tube amp to get a decent tone, but a majority of tube amps do sound a bit better than their Solid State cousins. Then again, if you were playing something like Jazz, I would recommend a Solid State.
Quote by vincemyatt
3: Is there any general advice you have for me before I go out and spend some serious cash on an amp? I'd really appreciate it!

TRY. BEFORE. YOU. BUY. I cannot stress it enough. Spend a good amount of time with the amp in the store first. Also, never take what the seller says at face value, otherwise you could be walking out with a modelling halfstack that mimics someones tone instead of the one you REALLY want.

Also, do you really NEED a halfstack? Usually, halfstacks run over $1000 (USD) for anything decent. With that same amount of money, you could get a pretty kick-ass combo.
#5
1:
-A cabinet is a box of speakers in a variety of setups. The most common, I believe, is a 4x12. They also come in 1x12, 2x12, 4x10 and some other configurations. Also whether the cabinet is open or closed back makes a difference in the tone as well as what speakers are in there too.
-A half stack is a head with one cabinet. Put one head with two cabinets and it's a full stack.


2:
- What are tubes? Vaccum tubes amplify the guitar signal. They are known for breaking up the sound (distorting or overdriving) when they are driven pretty hard (high volume). This tone, at least to me, is more present in the clean channel than the distorted channel. Keep in mind tubes sound better a higher volumes. If you plan to keep it pretty quiet you probably won't be able to tell the difference between that an a SS.

- How can you identify if an amp has tubes (just research?)
Yes research works. You can also look inside the head. If it had four cylinders pointing up or down it's most likely a tube amp.

- Where are tubes located? The amp head I assume.
The tubes are located inside the amp/head. Usually they are smack dab in the center.

- my friend who let me try his amp said "get one with tubes. It turns the half stack from
sounding like shit to sounding amazing". Are tubes really essential in an amp for it to
have great tone? Or would you just recommend them?

Many may hate me for this, but tubes are not essential in an amp to have great tone. Most believe, including myself, that tubes are much better sounding. However, there are a great variety of Solid State amps out there that sound pretty good. If you are a serious musician, really care about tone, and plan on playing loud, I would definitely recommend tubes.

3: Is there any general advice you have for me before I go out and spend some serious cash on an amp? I'd really appreciate it!

Try out the amps. Don't buy it because it says it has tubes or everyone recommends it. Find what sounds best to your ears and purchase it. And like I said it doesn't have to have tubes to sound great. If you like the tone of a Solid State more than a Tube amp by all means get it.

I hope that answers your questions. If you have any more please feel free to ask.
#6
If you post up your budget, nearest major city, and a few styles (the types of guitar tone you like, most of the time people list bands. Like "I want a sound like killswitch engage", or something similar).

If you give us those three we can reccomend a few good amps to try out.
Guitars:
LTD Alexi-600 White & Black
LTD Alexi-200 Black(Death Adder pickup & Gold OFR)
Agile Interceptor Pro 727 7-string
Jackson JS30RR rhoads
Jackson DKMGT
Squire telecaster

amps:
Bugera 6262 212 loaded with WGS veteran 30's
#7
Quote by Phat Stud 55
1:
-A cabinet is a box of speakers in a variety of setups. The most common, I believe, is a 4x12. They also come in 1x12, 2x12, 4x10 and some other configurations. Also whether the cabinet is open or closed back makes a difference in the tone as well as what speakers are in there too.
-A half stack is a head with one cabinet. Put one head with two cabinets and it's a full stack.


2:
- What are tubes? Vaccum tubes amplify the guitar signal. They are known for breaking up the sound (distorting or overdriving) when they are driven pretty hard (high volume). This tone, at least to me, is more present in the clean channel than the distorted channel. Keep in mind tubes sound better a higher volumes. If you plan to keep it pretty quiet you probably won't be able to tell the difference between that an a SS.

- How can you identify if an amp has tubes (just research?)
Yes research works. You can also look inside the head. If it had four cylinders pointing up or down it's most likely a tube amp.

- Where are tubes located? The amp head I assume.
The tubes are located inside the amp/head. Usually they are smack dab in the center.

- my friend who let me try his amp said "get one with tubes. It turns the half stack from
sounding like shit to sounding amazing". Are tubes really essential in an amp for it to
have great tone? Or would you just recommend them?

Many may hate me for this, but tubes are not essential in an amp to have great tone. Most believe, including myself, that tubes are much better sounding. However, there are a great variety of Solid State amps out there that sound pretty good. If you are a serious musician, really care about tone, and plan on playing loud, I would definitely recommend tubes.

3: Is there any general advice you have for me before I go out and spend some serious cash on an amp? I'd really appreciate it!

Try out the amps. Don't buy it because it says it has tubes or everyone recommends it. Find what sounds best to your ears and purchase it. And like I said it doesn't have to have tubes to sound great. If you like the tone of a Solid State more than a Tube amp by all means get it.

I hope that answers your questions. If you have any more please feel free to ask.


Thank you, I can definitely feel much more prepared already. I do have another question though, what about mixing amp heads and cabinets. For example:

I guess my question is, can you mix amp heads with either separately sold cabinets or ones that are part of a half stack? If so, why? is it risky or a move you wouldn't recommend? Thanks again.
#8
Quote by Gundamnitpete
If you post up your budget, nearest major city, and a few styles (the types of guitar tone you like, most of the time people list bands. Like "I want a sound like killswitch engage", or something similar).

If you give us those three we can reccomend a few good amps to try out.


Thanks for the post. My max is $3000 lol! I live near Chicago, I'd like to sound heavy like deftones, tool, soundgarden. Not quite metal, but I would like to be be able to still pull of metal tone though.

This is kind of hard for me because I like classical guitar, classic rock, prog rock, grunge, metal, etc. But if I bad to choose one it would be like bands that you could classify just a few steps away from metal.
Last edited by vincemyatt at Apr 16, 2011,
#10
Quote by vincemyatt
Thank you, I can definitely feel much more prepared already. I do have another question though, what about mixing amp heads and cabinets. For example:

I guess my question is, can you mix amp heads with either separately sold cabinets or ones that are part of a half stack? If so, why? is it risky or a move you wouldn't recommend? Thanks again.

The vast majority of guitarists do this. There are some cabs out there that just suck. As long as you match the impedance rating, you're fine, and most amps have a switch on them that lets you match damn near every cab on the market.
Kodiak bears make awesome bandmates.

Quote by wolvenrick
no seriously 7x NGD is epicness i declare you the winner of all NGD's on UG never have i seen this xD
#11
I guess my question is, can you mix amp heads with either separately sold cabinets or ones that are part of a half stack? If so, why? is it risky or a move you wouldn't recommend? Thanks again.

Yes you can mix and match heads and cabs all you want to. In fact a lot of people buy a head from one company and a cab from another. The only thing you would need to worry about is the impedance (ohms).
#12
Quote by kaosxrocker
The vast majority of guitarists do this. There are some cabs out there that just suck. As long as you match the impedance rating, you're fine, and most amps have a switch on them that lets you match damn near every cab on the market.


Quote by Phat Stud 55
Yes you can mix and match heads and cabs all you want to. In fact a lot of people buy a head from one company and a cab from another. The only thing you would need to worry about is the impedance (ohms).


Thanks, you guys both mention impedance (ohms). What is it? How can I find out an amps impedance?

Also, as Kaosxrocker mentioned,
Quote by kaosxrocker
There are some cabs out there that just suck.
Do you just have to jam on a cabinet to tell if it sucks or is it obvious?
#13
Quote by Phat Stud 55
Yes you can mix and match heads and cabs all you want to. In fact a lot of people buy a head from one company and a cab from another. The only thing you would need to worry about is the impedance (ohms).

You forgot cab wattage.

You wouldn't use a 6505 with a 30w 1x12.

Quote by vincemyatt
Thanks, you guys both mention impedance (ohms). What is it? How can I find out an amps impedance?

Also, as Kaosxrocker mentioned, Do you just have to jam on a cabinet to tell if it sucks or is it obvious?

An amp's impedance is the resistance of the head as a whole (we won't get into that). Basically, the ohm rating is the electrical load required by the head. The cab has to match this load; otherwise, you will damage your amp because it's not enough resistance for the amp (fry transformers, etc...). The rating of the amp head will be on the back above the speaker outputs. Most amps will have an ohm selector switch that will go from 4 - 8 - 16 ohms, which makes them more versatile as far as using different cabs.

Also, make sure your cab's wattage rating meets or exceeds the wattage rating of your head. This will keep you from blowing speakers if you ever start to play your amp very loud. I usually prefer my cabs to be rated a bit more than the amp I'm using with them. Just a personal preference. Also, on this subject, ALWAYS CONNECT YOUR CAB USING A SPEAKER CABLE. Instrument cable =/= speaker cable.

As far as cabs go and your last question, it boils down to this: You get what you pay for. Usually a cab under a certain price line (i.e. $200) is going to be bad. The quality of a cab is very important to your sound. How the cab is built, the wood its constructed from, the baffling, the dimensions on the inside... It all plays a part. If you put an Earcandy next to a Marshall MG cab, the Earcandy will sound leagues better because of how it's made.
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How do you say "I'm okay" to an answering machine?

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#14
Quote by stratman_13
You forgot cab wattage.

You wouldn't use a 6505 with a 30w 1x12.


An amp's impedance is the resistance of the head as a whole (we won't get into that). Basically, the ohm rating is the electrical load required by the head. The cab has to match this load; otherwise, you will damage your amp because it's not enough resistance for the amp (fry transformers, etc...). The rating of the amp head will be on the back above the speaker outputs. Most amps will have an ohm selector switch that will go from 4 - 8 - 16 ohms, which makes them more versatile as far as using different cabs.

Also, make sure your cab's wattage rating meets or exceeds the wattage rating of your head. This will keep you from blowing speakers if you ever start to play your amp very loud. I usually prefer my cabs to be rated a bit more than the amp I'm using with them. Just a personal preference. Also, on this subject, ALWAYS CONNECT YOUR CAB USING A SPEAKER CABLE. Instrument cable =/= speaker cable.

As far as cabs go and your last question, it boils down to this: You get what you pay for. Usually a cab under a certain price line (i.e. $200) is going to be bad. The quality of a cab is very important to your sound. How the cab is built, the wood its constructed from, the baffling, the dimensions on the inside... It all plays a part. If you put an Earcandy next to a Marshall MG cab, the Earcandy will sound leagues better because of how it's made.


Listen to this. This man knows his shit.
Kodiak bears make awesome bandmates.

Quote by wolvenrick
no seriously 7x NGD is epicness i declare you the winner of all NGD's on UG never have i seen this xD
#15
Quote by vincemyatt
Thanks for the post. My max is $3000 lol! I live near Chicago, I'd like to sound heavy like deftones, tool, soundgarden. Not quite metal, but I would like to be be able to still pull of metal tone though.

This is kind of hard for me because I like classical guitar, classic rock, prog rock, grunge, metal, etc. But if I bad to choose one it would be like bands that you could classify just a few steps away from metal.


There's a place called minstril music on Milwaukee, in Niles or park ridge (just outside the city limits). They are a real helpful bunch of guys with ALOT of amps. They'll prolly steer you better than your typical GC worker would.
Guitars:
LTD Alexi-600 White & Black
LTD Alexi-200 Black(Death Adder pickup & Gold OFR)
Agile Interceptor Pro 727 7-string
Jackson JS30RR rhoads
Jackson DKMGT
Squire telecaster

amps:
Bugera 6262 212 loaded with WGS veteran 30's
#16
Quote by Gundamnitpete
There's a place called minstril music on Milwaukee, in Niles or park ridge (just outside the city limits). They are a real helpful bunch of guys with ALOT of amps. They'll prolly steer you better than your typical GC worker would.

True that. Honestly, forums are a good starting place, but if you have a few local whops with people that actually care about getting you what you want (other than shoving the latest and "greatest" of amps) as far as your sound, go there. They can help you more than some hipster GC guy.

And as much as I like SamAsh over GC, I still wouldn't go to them with that question, simply because they'll still be inclined to be a bit pushy. But as far as my SamAsh goes, the guys there are more interested in helping you than selling you something. Or maybe it's just because they know me. . YMMV.

EDIT: Thanks kaosrocker . I appreciate that.

Also, I hardly know any pro guitarists that use the same cab and amp manufacturer. Unless it's an old Plexi and a Marshall 1960A/B cab, because IMO cabs are the only thing Marshall does right anymore (and they're even beaten out by Earcandy, Vader, Avatar.... on the used market).

Marshall 1960A/B, Mesa Oversized cabs (you'll want to be careful with those, plenty of bass to go around, and heavy as hell), Framus cabs.. They're all great stock manufacturer cabs.

Avatar makes great cabs for cheap. Vader is pretty much the choice for a great metal cab on a budget. If you want to drop a little more dough, Earcandy, Mills Acoustic, and CAA all make crazy good cabs. The difference between these cabs and the maunfacturer cabs is that the Avatar, Vader, etc... are made to order, and handbuilt (or for all practical purposes are).
--

How do you say "I'm okay" to an answering machine?

--
Last edited by stratman_13 at Apr 17, 2011,
#17
Quote by stratman_13


EDIT: Thanks kaosrocker . I appreciate that.



You're very welcome, sir.

Hell, you're even helping me out on this one. I've been in the market for a new cab for awhile, and you're giving me some good things to look at.
Kodiak bears make awesome bandmates.

Quote by wolvenrick
no seriously 7x NGD is epicness i declare you the winner of all NGD's on UG never have i seen this xD