#1
Im going to replace my current amp and at the moment im looking for good suggestions on what to get (theres so many amps out there that im alittle lost on where to start first). My current amp is a Vox VT15 which I got newb/noobishly when I had only been playing for 6 months, so I want to do things right this time around.

My favorite genres are rock and metal, particularly NWOBHM like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath as well as abit of Thrash metal like Metallica and Slayer. However I do enjoy blues and general chord strumming so good cleans would be nice.

Im not 100% fused about new or used and my nearest city is Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

I only practice at home at the moment but im starting to get to a point where I want to start jamming with others.

My bugget was originally £300 but after reading the amp/pedal help sticky, im realising this is pushing it so I would be considering up to £500 as a maximum.

If it also helps, my guitar is a Hagstom Ultra Sweede.

Think that is everything. Was thinking mainly about having a combo amp, was originally planning having an tube amp but after much though a solid state would be okay if I can still get the tone im after. Not looking for modelling amps, the main reason im changing is because the Vox feels too confusing in getting tones/distortion im looking for because of all the options. Also was considering, as my request does look a bit high, a combo of an amp with good clean and low-mid distortion and getting a distortion pedal to get the gain im looking for (suggestions on pedals would be nice too in that case)
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#2
Blackstar are good for metal and have better cleans than peavey for example. There tube amp arent overpriced either and you good probably get one of the high wattage tube amp HT Series for about 350-400 pounds.
#3
Quote by itamar101
Blackstar are good for metal and have better cleans than peavey for example. There tube amp arent overpriced either and you good probably get one of the high wattage tube amp HT Series for about 350-400 pounds.

Actually you can only get the HT-5 for that money, I think. But these amps do sound freaking fantastic.

EDIT: I mean this if we're talking a new one, in most cases.
Last edited by Dio10101 at Sep 17, 2011,
#4
i know you said combo, but you should consider the orange Terror series (tiny, dark, dual). ive played the tiny and the dual and the sounds that come out of them are great, and should be able to incorperate them into your style!
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#5
or vox night train, they are good too!
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#6
You could have done a lot worse than a VT15 as your first amp. When I'm practicing by myself, I get any tone need for that from a VOX DA5 (1-5 watt solid state) and a Digitech RP355.

Sure, that would be even more complicated. But you're wise to note that you probably need a distortion pedal. And that might be enough to get you where you need to be with your VT15.

So you might want to just take your VT15 and your guitar to the store and audition different stomp boxes with it, and use it with your VT15 while saving up for a really good amp that you'd want if you get to the level of doing small gigs with a band.

If the VT15 is too complicated, then the simpler Oranges are good options, or you could go for a Vox Night Train. You could also check out Jet City stuff.

BTW, with the lower wattage Oranges and Night Trains, you could get your VT15 modded with a switch and an input jack to plug those heads right into the VT15 and use that as your cab. --I unplugged the speaker from the amp in my Marshall MG30DFX and connected a 1/4" jack directly to the speaker. So sometimes I use that as a cab for my Marshall head, like when there's no room for the 4x12 cab.
#7
what you need is a british voiced amp and an overdrive pedal to push the amp into thrash metal tones.
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#8
Quote by Dio10101
Actually you can only get the HT-5 for that money, I think. But these amps do sound freaking fantastic.

EDIT: I mean this if we're talking a new one, in most cases.


Maybe you are talking about dollars because on eBay uk and amazon uk the HT-5 sells new for about 250 pounds and the HT-20 sell used (in good condition) for 350 pounds and new for 450 pounds. It's definitely a great amp though and should be highly considered
#10
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#11
Thank you for all suggestions so far. Will look into the Blackstar amps
Keep suggestions comming though!

I thought about getting a combo than a head+cab because I thought it would be alittle bit cheaper, plus I dont know too much about heads+cabs yet. Will consider it though.

VT-15 isnt a bad amp ill admit. but I bought it when I was a newb and did the noobie thing of deciding to buy the first amp I saw and only listen to my old instructor play it with out playing it myself on my guitar. I never really use most of the models on there and it make thing abit awkward when trying to get the tone im after.

Edit: Will look into the Laney too!
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Last edited by Sadokun at Sep 17, 2011,
#12
Quote by Dio10101
Actually you can only get the HT-5 for that money, I think. But these amps do sound freaking fantastic.

EDIT: I mean this if we're talking a new one, in most cases.


Isnt the ht-5 a hybrid amp??

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#13
traynor ycv50b on thomann

jet city's distributor has some deals on ebay at the moment (haven't tried them though)

laney gh100l is on deal at guitar guitar for £499 (though you'd need a cab too which would put you over budget). used vc50 is a good call if you want to stick to combos.

any of those should work pretty well, i'd have thought.
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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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#15
Cheers Dave_Mc
Will look into those suggestions too!
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Sadokun: Eating cardboard never tasted this good!

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#16
Quote by itamar101
No, it is all tube

It's also an amazing AM radio station......mine was new outta the box. I changed tubes and still had the same issue of radio interference???
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#17
Hello again, been doing some searching on reviews of amps that have been suggested and I cant seem to find anything on the Laney VC50 and just found out they are discontinued so are these amps rare to find?

Edit: Actually nvm, they sound like good (and very loud!) amps from reviews but not what I am looking for tone-wise. Oh well, one amp eliminated from the list
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Last edited by Sadokun at Sep 17, 2011,
#18
Quote by itamar101
No, it is all tube


LOLWUT?

Quote by Sadokun
Cheers Dave_Mc
Will look into those suggestions too!


no problem


Quote by Sadokun
Hello again, been doing some searching on reviews of amps that have been suggested and I cant seem to find anything on the Laney VC50 and just found out they are discontinued so are these amps rare to find?

Edit: Actually nvm, they sound like good (and very loud!) amps from reviews but not what I am looking for tone-wise. Oh well, one amp eliminated from the list


it's the combo version of the vh100r, as far as i'm aware. it's been discontinued for several years now, so you're talking used if you want to consider one.
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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.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#19
I would suggest something but i'd just say the same as dave
though regarding the jet citys.. if you get the 20 watt combo make sure theres one left for me

Also discontinued doesnt mean rare you will probably not have any issue finding a used laney vc50

The only thing with most laney combos is those pesky seventy 80 speakers they arent the best..
Last edited by coolstoryangus at Sep 18, 2011,
#20
yeah or those hh ones... which i haven't tried, but i don't think they're meant to be amazing either.
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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.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#21
Quote by Dave_Mc
LOLWUT?

Dave, what are you talking about regarding the HT-5 not being all tube?

According to Sweetwater.com. "Blackstar's all-tube HT-5R..."

It's got a push-pull tube power section and the pre-amp is basically just an HT tube overdrive pedal.

Sweetwater is one of the most respected distributors in the US, besides all the other digging I did on this came up with the same info.

Are you refering to to the digital reverb on the models that have that, or the emulated line out which models 1x12 or 4x12 cabinets? Sometimes it can be difficult to get people around here to agree on semantics, but I thought we could all agree that "hybrid amp" means one that has either the pre-amp or the power stage done with solid state and the other with tube. And that it has nothing to do with the effects. Is a Marshall JCM900 not all tube because it has an emulated line out? Is a JVM410 not all tube because it has a digital reverb?

I'm not saying it's impossible for Sweetwater, Blackstar, and everyone else I've read on the internet to be wrong and you right, Dave--actually that's why I'm bothering to post, you got me curious about what you know that they don't...how is this not all tube, Dave?
#22
Quote by jetwash69
Dave, what are you talking about regarding the HT-5 not being all tube?

According to Sweetwater.com. "Blackstar's all-tube HT-5R..."

It's got a push-pull tube power section and the pre-amp is basically just an HT tube overdrive pedal.

Sweetwater is one of the most respected distributors in the US, besides all the other digging I did on this came up with the same info.

Are you refering to to the digital reverb on the models that have that, or the emulated line out which models 1x12 or 4x12 cabinets? Sometimes it can be difficult to get people around here to agree on semantics, but I thought we could all agree that "hybrid amp" means one that has either the pre-amp or the power stage done with solid state and the other with tube. And that it has nothing to do with the effects. Is a Marshall JCM900 not all tube because it has an emulated line out? Is a JVM410 not all tube because it has a digital reverb?

I'm not saying it's impossible for Sweetwater, Blackstar, and everyone else I've read on the internet to be wrong and you right, Dave--actually that's why I'm bothering to post, you got me curious about what you know that they don't...how is this not all tube, Dave?


well... i was just about to write the same thing. thanks for saving my time but you are absolutely right.
#23
there's a metric shed-ton of solid state stuff going on in the preamp- clipping diodes, op-amp based gain stages, and a transistor-based phase inverter.

http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?2426368-Blackstar-HT-5-Schematic

they reverse-engineered it there (post #7).

In conclusion: don't believe what you read when it's written by someone who's trying to sell it to you.

EDIT: oh and a jcm900 isn't all-tube because it has clipping diodes and similar guff.

EDIT #2: ^ nu-ugh

EDIT #3: funnily enough i think the blackstar guys had a hand in designing the 900 as well.
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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 Sep 18, 2011,
#24
The HT-5 and JCM900 Dual Reverb are definitely hybrids. The majority of the preamplification is done by op amps and the OD channel of the HT-5 basically switches in a Tubescreamer in series with the pre. The phase inverter in the HT-5 is two BJTs. It's tube in the Dual Reverb though. The line out and reverb sections on both are SS.
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#25
The clincher for me, is that the HT-5 is that it doesn't have a tube phase inverter.
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#26
cheers guys
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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?
#27

You call that all tube?
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#28
Quote by kutless999

You call that all tube?

Well, Kutless, is this all tube?


So are the Mesa Rectifiers are hybrid amps, too, by this photographic approach? I see diodes and ICs in there, but I don't pretend to be savvy enough to comment on whether there are transistors or not. Sure, there are more empty tube sockets in this one.

Dave and others make some great points about how clearly the HT-5 isn't literally all tube because you've got transistors helping with the amplification and diodes helping with the clipping. Which I figured when I saw it only has 1 power tube and 1 pre-amp tube.

So it's back to the original matter of semantics.

Does anyone have an authoritative lexicon of guitar gear terms?

Until you dig really deep, everything you find when you Google "Hybrid amp" refers to either the power stage or the preamp having tubes (but not necessarily purely tube).

And I've never seen a source tackle the term "All Tube" until now.

And every reference I found listed the Marshall Valvestate (1991) as the first hybrid amp, although some feel that the Silver Jubilees were hybrids, due to the clipping diodes and solid state boost in the pre-amp.

So it appears that these are the commonly accepted marketing terms so you get a basic idea what you're thinking about buying:
- Solid State Amp: No tubes
- Tube Amp: Has tubes in both power stage and pre-amp
- Hybrid Amp: Either the power stage or the pre-amp is all SS (no tubes at all), but the other side has at least 1 tube

And it appears that we have another, esoteric definitions for the same term,s used by a small, but knowledgeable community of experts:
- All Tube Amp: all amplification and clipping duties performed only with tubes throughout the amp--no solid state in the signal chain (still unclear of whether this includes effects)
- Hybrid Amp: any amp with solid state components in the signal chain, even if there are tubes in both the power stage and in the pre-amp

The thing I don't like about the esoteric approach is it would lump amps like the Marshall JVM series in the same camp as the VOX VT series or the Line 6 Spider Valves. That seems somewhat misleading.
#29
But don't you think thats an awful lot of components for a 5 watt " all valve amp". The boogie is like 100 watts.
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#30
Quote by jetwash69
Well, Kutless, is this all tube?


So are the Mesa Rectifiers are hybrid amps, too, by this photographic approach? I see diodes and ICs in there, but I don't pretend to be savvy enough to comment on whether there are transistors or not. Sure, there are more empty tube sockets in this one.

Dave and others make some great points about how clearly the HT-5 isn't literally all tube because you've got transistors helping with the amplification and diodes helping with the clipping. Which I figured when I saw it only has 1 power tube and 1 pre-amp tube.

So it's back to the original matter of semantics.

Does anyone have an authoritative lexicon of guitar gear terms?

Until you dig really deep, everything you find when you Google "Hybrid amp" refers to either the power stage or the preamp having tubes (but not necessarily purely tube).

And I've never seen a source tackle the term "All Tube" until now.

And every reference I found listed the Marshall Valvestate (1991) as the first hybrid amp, although some feel that the Silver Jubilees were hybrids, due to the clipping diodes and solid state boost in the pre-amp.

So it appears that these are the commonly accepted marketing terms so you get a basic idea what you're thinking about buying:
- Solid State Amp: No tubes
- Tube Amp: Has tubes in both power stage and pre-amp
- Hybrid Amp: Either the power stage or the pre-amp is all SS (no tubes at all), but the other side has at least 1 tube

And it appears that we have another, esoteric definitions for the same term,s used by a small, but knowledgeable community of experts:
- All Tube Amp: all amplification and clipping duties performed only with tubes throughout the amp--no solid state in the signal chain (still unclear of whether this includes effects)
- Hybrid Amp: any amp with solid state components in the signal chain, even if there are tubes in both the power stage and in the pre-amp

The thing I don't like about the esoteric approach is it would lump amps like the Marshall JVM series in the same camp as the VOX VT series or the Line 6 Spider Valves. That seems somewhat misleading.


uh no. the definition is really easy.

signal path - are the amplification functions of the amp done by tubes or solid state devices.

that's really easy.

the power amp or preamp definition makes so sense since those things are not technically a single amp. The power amp is one thing and the preamp is another thing. Either part can be hybrid or tube or solid state. Which power amp goes with which preamp doesn't matter as much as how each section is built.

In the HT5, there is a dual op-amp in the preamp stage before the first tube right after the input and a pair of clipping diodes.

in the power amp the phase inverter is a pair of transistors.

the mesa dual rec has tubes for all signal amplification.
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#31
hy·brid/ˈhīˌbrid/
Noun: A thing made by combining two different elements; a mixture.
Adjective: Of mixed character; composed of mixed parts.
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#32
Thanks for the additional clarification guys, and I get what you're saying.

I acknowledge that y'all clearly know more about this than I do--that's why I'm here--to learn more.

So along those lines, it's good to hear that the Triple Rec is "all tube".

But now I'm confused about the JCM900 Dual Rec. Would that be hybrid for the emulated line out (becuase you need solid state to bring it down to line levels) and hybrid for the reverb (because although it does use a real spring tank, it uses transitors where an external Fender Reverb unit would use tubes?)

And no-one's touched the JVM. Clearly the emulated line out and the digital reverb fit the definition. I'd think with 3 switchable gain stages for each of the 4 channels, it'd have to have some solid state in there?
#33
the line out doesn't need anything but resistors to bring the signal down and usually speaker emulation is just a capacitor filter network.

for effects loops and digital reverb..yes they are some that are solid state but if they can be bypassed and shut off then it's up to the users discretion.

of course it's not an all or nothing thing. some amps are certainly more hybrid then others.
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#34
Quote by jetwash69

But now I'm confused about the JCM900 Dual Rec. Would that be hybrid for the emulated line out (becuase you need solid state to bring it down to line levels) and hybrid for the reverb (because although it does use a real spring tank, it uses transitors where an external Fender Reverb unit would use tubes?)

And no-one's touched the JVM. Clearly the emulated line out and the digital reverb fit the definition. I'd think with 3 switchable gain stages for each of the 4 channels, it'd have to have some solid state in there?


The 900 Dual Reverb has op amp gain stages in the signal path and a op amp/diode clipping set up for distortion. The JVM I'm less sure about but reverb and the line out aren't usually considered since they can be bypassed and don't have any significant tone shaping going on withing the circuits. The switchable gain stages are very possible without any SS components though they're probably using JFETs as switches which isn't that offensive as they don't color the tone unless they're overdriven and I assume the circuit is designed to prevent that.
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#35
Thanks.

It would be interesting if someone tried to sue Blackstar for false advertising and see which way the jury would go with the definitions.
#36
Since all tube isn't a legally defined term, anyone suing Blackstar would have to have a pretty damn good team of lawyers.
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#37
probably be easier just to not buy their shit.
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#40
^^^

but yeah, as has already been said by the other regulars, personally it's all-tube to me if the amplification and clipping is done by tubes (so "signal path", i guess, is the term normally used for that). Don't care about the rectifier (though obviously I like to be told, but normally amps list the tube complement anyway so it's pretty obvious if the rectifier is SS or tube even if they don't say), and don't care too much about solid state-driven fx loop or reverb either (especially if they can be bypassed).

and certainly, calling all these things "hybrid" does have the unintended consequence of suggesting, say, an ht5 is similar to a valvestate, which is not true, but I dunno how to get round that. I don't think pretending stuff like the ht5 is all-tube is the answer either. I guess just accept that some things are more hybrid than others, as min said.
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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?