I am looking for a half stack tube amp. This will be my first half stack and I'm sort of torn on what to get. I like to play metal (mostly death metal but some black) and a good clean channel is also important to me because I like to play soft mellow stuff (Pink Floyd type sound for example). I'm mainly going to be using a Schecter Hellraiser C-7 with stock EMG 707 pickups. I'd like to stay away from the 6505 and any Marshalls just because of personal preference. The thing about my budget is I'm 17, but I do have a job. The issue with spending isn't really how much I can afford as much as how much I should be spending on an amp at my age. SO, with all that out of the way, any and all advice is greatly appreciated because I'm at a standstill. Thanks!
Are you going to be Gigging and what is the most you would spend?
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
The only gigging I do as of now is small events with my high school band like the talent show for example, or a party someone we know is throwing. If I had to decide an amount just based on how much cash I'd be willing to throw down, I'd say 2000 dollars give or take a couple hundred would be the max. But I'm sort of split on whether or not that's excessive for a player my age.
Wow, with $2000 you've got a lot of different options. You might not even need a half stack if you won't be playing in large auditoriums. Will you be using it for practise a lot or mostly for gigs?
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
I'll be practicing a lot with it but the thing is the other guitar player has a half stack so I'm pretty much set on getting one. Possibly a head and a 2x12 but I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get a head.
I haven't had the opportunity to play one but I've heard the clean tones on the amp aren't all that good. What do you think?
Clean tones sound a-okay on mine. You just have to know where to set your volume and gain levels from the channel to the main volume knob.
I personally love them, yet am too broke to buy one. You might want to give one a play.

But with $2000, head to GC and ask a guy there to give you a walk-through, so to speak, of every half stack there. You wont know what youve missed until youve played em all.

Heads up, make sure you bring your guitar to test it out, so you know EXACTLY what it will sound like.
Also, you won't find Mesa at GC. They don't carry them.. But if you don't mind me recommending another amp that's usually overlooked. If you get the chance, try out a BH100H. One of those may very well be my next purchase, personally. If anything, for the wide variety of sounds you can get out of it.

Its switchable between 30, 50, 60, and 100 watts.

Class AB/Pentode: 100W of flesh searing power
Class AB/Triode: 50W, tighter headroom, crisper gain, still hurts
Class A/Pentode: 60W, lots of headroom before overdrive, nice and plucky
Class A/Triode: 30W, less headroom, more responsive to your attack
Last edited by ryantombasco at Aug 5, 2011,
Oh yeah I've heard the Blackhearts are nice, and that wattage feature is really cool. Something to help the bedroom playing when my family's home for sure.
Haha, yea, I hear ya. I got one of the smaller ones, the BH5H.. It's a 3/5 watt switchable. Got it more as a practice amp.. Ended up loving it and dropping an EV 12" in the cab and putting better tubes in it. I've gigged with it a few times now and have absolutely no complaints. It's built like a tank, too.
Yeah I've heard good things but I haven't looked at them too much. Thanks for the advice! Thanks to everyone else as well!
I was also looking at the Randall RT100H but I've heard mixed things about Randalls. Any thoughts?
Not at my GC.. =[ There's no Mesas to be found.

I was never a Randall fan.. I usually stick to Mesa, Blackheart, 80's and back tube fender, Old Marshalls (JCM900's and back).. Hi-Watt, Orange.
Last edited by ryantombasco at Aug 5, 2011,
Some GCs do carry new Mesas. Any GC can have a used Mesa. As for the new ones, Mesa only allows a certain amount of dealers within each market to help them keep their prices artificially high. 1 or 2 of the 3 GCs in my area carry new Mesas. They're not currently carrying them online.

Most of the Mesas I've played have been at GCs--they usually keep them in their glass booth testing rooms. Used Mesas tend not to stay there long. I had to stop my test on a trip rec once so they could sell it over the phone--although they were going to give me first dibs since I started looking at it before they got the call. And I know they weren't just messing with me becuase it was gone baby gone the next time I dropped in and I haven't seen a triple rec there since.
There's another music store in our area, located within 100 miles of 3 GC's in each direction, so that could be why none of them carry Mesa. Got my Triple Rec. through that place new about 6 years ago.. Got my smaller Mesa there new.. It was a new old-stock. The Subway Rockets were out of production, but they had a few that were apparently burried way back in the stock room that no one had realized were there. They were on sale for $500.oo so I obviously couldn't pass that up.