#1
I have champagne taste on a beer budget and am looking for a good amp and i think i found it but i am curious if there any other good candidates. I will tell you my hit's and misses. I own a Avatar vintage cabinet with two 60 watt celestion vintage 30's. That is the consistent piece i will be keeping. I play an esp LTD ec-401vf stock with seymour duncan 59's and jb's



My experiences so far....

Marshall MA100 amp head. i paid 200$ cash and traded a playstation 3 for this thing. It sounded to me very thin and shockingly mediocre and to me this amps gives marshalls a bad name and gives all tube a bad name. This amp is made in India btw, not in England like the other marshalls.

Peavey windsor amp head, i paid about 225$ for this then ended up returning it. Again the "all tube" for such a modest price allured me to it. Reviewers claimed it sounded like a hot rodded Marshall. I found that this amp had ok power but no features, and a boring sound. Sounds fuzzy without sounding warm. It did not sound tube warm at all. It sounded frizzy.


Peavey transtube ampheads. These can be gotten for 100$ i have one and it is ok, but nothing special. It served me for a couple years but i am serious enough now that i can upgrade from this.

Peavey vyper 30. I owned this for a little while and the modeling effects were fun until the novelty wore off, then i was just left with a low powered modern sounding amp.

Line 6 spider IV 75 watt combo. I played this in guitar center the other day. And it's hard to be certain without owning it for a day or so. But i kinda liked this one. To me it sounded much more ballsy then the peavey vypyr series. So for now this is a candidate. Perhaps even the 150watt head version. There has been times where i listened to something in GC and liked it only to get it home and decide later with extended playing that it does not sound good. So i am mixed on this amp. Anyone have a strong opinion about these amps?

So far the best i have found is the Marshall avt valvestate 2000 series hybrid amps. I bought a 50watt combo for 80$ on craigslist and to be completely honest it sounds like 100 watts compared to all those other amps i listed including the two all tube 100 watt heads. The tone is more character rich and full. The amp is at least 10 years old, but so far this is what i have kept and am playing currently. It is a bit small for my extension cab so i am considering up trading this and selling some other gear and getting a Marshall AVT 150 watt version.

As for my tastes I thought i liked the warm "tube" sound. But what i have found is that entry level tube amps that i have gotten are horrible. So i got tricked twice in trying to get that warm powerfull all tube sound only to get disappointed. I am not quite ready to shell out huge bucks for a high end tube amp. So if anyone has any great insight on good sounding amps that are in the used 300-400$ range let me know.


And lastly, i know power is sometimes misjudged and over emphasized. Could getting a quality all tube amp of low wattage be a good solution to getting good sound at a cheap price? a guy has a mint condition Egnater tweeker 15watt for 275$ bucks on craigslist out here. Are there any good tube amps that are inexpensive? Bugera? Jet ?
#2
If you can spring 100$ more, you can find a used DSL50 for 500$, if your lucky..
JCM 900s go for that price too!

I personally had the orange tiny terror, 15 watt head, 400$, it's decent, but I think I'd avoid lunchboxes if your really after that "Huge" sound..
- Schecter C-1 Classic
- Fender Hot Rod Tweed Deluxe
- Crybaby->EBVPJr->TU-2->TS9->OCD->NS-2->DD-20->DL4->RV-5
#3
If you can spring 100$ more, you can find a used DSL50 for 500$, if your lucky..JCM 900s go for that price too!

i'll keep that in mind
#4
The used market is awesome. If you need a clone though, I've been told Blackheart amps are good copies of the Marshall sound.

inb4 Cathbard comes in and showers us with knowledge
Telecasters-->Dunlop Volume Pedal-T1M Pearl-AMT Japanese Girl Wah-Line 6 M9-Ibanez DE7-EHX Cathedral-->Mesa Boogie Nomad 4x10 combo
#6
tried the MG100HFX?

under $400 and it IS a marshall so it should suit.

mojostompboxes.com
#7
Sushi , it's not that the MA100 was that bad. It's just that everything is relative to price. They are 799.99$ and still sell for 550 used. And it is a terrible value at that price. I was offended by the Ma series because i just feel they are luring people into thinking they can get a great all tube marshall, when this things sounds nothing like the rich heritage of marshalls past amps. Many of which can be bought cheaper used then the ma100 costs new.
#8
Quote by greeny23
tried the MG100HFX?

under $400 and it IS a marshall so it should suit.


Telecasters-->Dunlop Volume Pedal-T1M Pearl-AMT Japanese Girl Wah-Line 6 M9-Ibanez DE7-EHX Cathedral-->Mesa Boogie Nomad 4x10 combo
#10
i played the MG series at guitar center, and found it inferior to the older AVT series. The MG has a cheaper MSRP price than what the AVT sold for in it's day. But the AVT has been around since the mid 1990's so the backmarket price for one is very reasonable.
#11
Quote by greeny23

Telecasters-->Dunlop Volume Pedal-T1M Pearl-AMT Japanese Girl Wah-Line 6 M9-Ibanez DE7-EHX Cathedral-->Mesa Boogie Nomad 4x10 combo
#13
Ultimately, you get what you pay for. There are a reason why some amps cost thousands of dollars. If you want good tone, you have to save up for it and pay for it. You can't really cheat your way to tone.

I'm trying to think of all the amps I know of in your budget, and honestly my best suggestion is to get a Windsor again, and then get it modded. Those amps can be literally modded to JCM800 or Plexi specs, for fairly cheap I think.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#14
Any Marshall under about $1000 isn't going to be too good. You'll just be buying the name really. Go with an Orange Tiny Terror or something. Or a small Blackstar. They're made by people who used to work at Marshall. Good quality amps.
#15
Blackstars are designed by the genious' that brought you the jcm900 dual reverb I love teh diodes
#17
Quote by WholeLottaIzzy
Any Marshall under about $1000 isn't going to be too good. You'll just be buying the name really. Go with an Orange Tiny Terror or something. Or a small Blackstar. They're made by people who used to work at Marshall. Good quality amps.

Made by people that worked at Marshall designing total crap perhaps. Marshalls full of op-amp laden preamps - hmmm, I see a pattern. They've just gone further with their new company, now they even stick SS stuff in the power amp - and have the gall to still call them valve amps. Best thing that ever happened to Marshall was their departure.

If you want a bargain on Marshalls it's easy - don't buy new. Budget modern Marshalls are junk. Look for used JCM2000 DSL's, JCM800's (preferably 2203/2204), JCM900 SL/X's.
If you want older more classic stuff like JTM's, JMP's or plexis in general it is often best to look for clones. There have probably been more clones made than the original article and some are better than the original article too.

Comparing an MG to an AVT is like comparing dog shit to cat shit - you don't want either in your sandwich. Putting a fancy label on the wrapper doesn't help.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#18
The peavey classic does the classic rock sound great, and can be so smooth. Amazing cleans. These can really push air too, especially the 50 watt I own.

I very much liked the jet city 20 watt amp I owned, though it sounded a bit weak compared to the pv classic 30 I played beside it. Still it gave super awesome tube saturation at a manageable volume and was a joy to play and hear. Impressive build quality.

The tweaker is okay, though not a good value. Too much $$ and not enough tone(on the used market).

I know you have had less than great experiences with pv, but the classics are great, great amps. They feel and sound excellent, especially through an extension cab.
#19
Quote by Cathbard
Made by people that worked at Marshall designing total crap perhaps. Marshalls full of op-amp laden preamps - hmmm, I see a pattern. They've just gone further with their new company, now they even stick SS stuff in the power amp - and have the gall to still call them valve amps. Best thing that ever happened to Marshall was their departure.
.


Surely you mean only the HT series? which is designed around giving great tone at a good budget? As far is i was aware all Artisans and Series amps were entirelly valve powered?
Quote by ZanasCross
I'm now so drunk that even if my mom had given me a blow job at aeg 2, i'd be like I'm a pmp, butches.!

If this even madkes sense... if yhou sig this, Iw ll kill you.
#20
Quote by cliff_em_all
Surely you mean only the HT series? which is designed around giving great tone at a good budget? As far is i was aware all Artisans and Series amps were entirelly valve powered?

Show me some schematics or gutshots. They sound like far too much gain for the tube compliment. I smell op-amps.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#21
Quote by Cathbard
Show me some schematics or gutshots. They sound like far too much gain for the tube compliment. I smell op-amps.



A few of my mates have series heads (despite the lies on the HT series, they can come through as good guys). If they let me open it up i'll have a look and take some pictures for you.
Quote by ZanasCross
I'm now so drunk that even if my mom had given me a blow job at aeg 2, i'd be like I'm a pmp, butches.!

If this even madkes sense... if yhou sig this, Iw ll kill you.
#22
Quote by cliff_em_all
A few of my mates have series heads (despite the lies on the HT series, they can come through as good guys). If they let me open it up i'll have a look and take some pictures for you.

Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#23
Quote by Offworld92
Ultimately, you get what you pay for. There are a reason why some amps cost thousands of dollars. If you want good tone, you have to save up for it and pay for it. You can't really cheat your way to tone.


I'm trying to think of all the amps I know of in your budget, and honestly my best suggestion is to get a Windsor again, and then get it modded. Those amps can be literally modded to JCM800 or Plexi specs, for fairly cheap I think.

I have to disagree. I have seen many pros use jet city 20hs, the cheapest tube amp ever, and they sound great. But they actually want to make good amps. Marshall just sucks, and intentionally makes their budget amps suck donkey balls to make their mediocre flagship amps seem more appealing(or maybe they actually do try, and fail). I like the class 5 though, seems like a step in the right direction.

Those peaveys he had do get you what you pay for, but you pay very little as opposed to the wallet and ass sucking marshalls. I like your windsor idea.
#24
Blackheart Handsome Devil
Mr. Zachary Vex on the fuzz probe: "Congratulations. You must be insane. Even I don't get how to use this pedal".
#25
Cathbard i hear you. If the AVT is catshit i will say this catshit does sound noticeably better than dogshit. I am trying to do a partial cash/tand trade deal with someone local. What is everyones quality assessment of this amp. Marshall JCM 2000 TSL Head . This guy lives in a rural town so nobody is buying his amp, i am waiting for him to get a little more desperate, he has it at 750$ now

http://visalia.craigslist.org/msg/2617259056.html
#26
The TSL is a different amp to the DSL. The DSL is an attempt at being a development of the JCM800. The TSL was an attempt at competing with Mesa and such amps. You can actually get a remarkably good metal tone out of them if you dial them in properly and boost it just right.
However, if you want a blues or rock tone that's a lot harder to dial in. It's easiest just to crank the master volume to 10 and use the gain knob as your volume. Let the power amp provide the distortion and with careful EQ'ing you can coax a more traditional Marshall crunch out of them. Of course that does mean that you have to kill everybody in the front row with sound pressure but that's a small price to pay. Best done with only two output valves if you don't want to break city ordinances to get your tone.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#27
asked on your pickups thread with no answer so i'll try again here. dude exactly what are you after? just saying warm really doesn't tell us much. what is your idea of a warm tone? a good frame of reference will help get you better answers and make it more likely that we can stear you towards the right amp or pickups.
#28
Buy a DSL50.. Don't look back..
- Schecter C-1 Classic
- Fender Hot Rod Tweed Deluxe
- Crybaby->EBVPJr->TU-2->TS9->OCD->NS-2->DD-20->DL4->RV-5
#30
IMO the Tweaker is as warm as it gets. But I also think that you will need pedals to get the range of tones you want. A Tweaker with some distortion pedals is a great setup.
#31
Marshall Class 5 is the only budget marshall worth gettin next to. Blackheart does a good Marshall tone at a good price. Cathbard is right there are soooo many Marshall clones out there that are as good or better than the original.

Look at the Peavey VTM from the 80's it is cheap and ugly but does a hot rodded JCM 800 better than anything you can get at its price range. about $200ish used.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#32
311ZOSOVHJH As for buying all the amps, i have made profit each time i got rid of one. So when i see a bargain locally i buy it if it is clearly being sold for less then it's going used market value so i am never out anything. It gives me time to own and enjoy a new amp for awhile. I do want to establish one keeper amp. I did do a quick audition of the spider in guitar center but it was not possible that day to do an A , B comparison with my other candidates. Things sound different in the store then they do in my playing area to. It is loud as hell in there with 10 amps being played at once and it is not easily to really remember what it sounds like in comparison to what i already like. The first impression was nice though.

monwobobbo , as for my tone i described it as best i could on the pickups. I liked the stock les paul tone alot i noted that notes had more sustain, and apparently it has more mid presence that is missing in my current pickups.
#33
but i do not want to go backwards and get an epi les paul again. Rather i am looking to find a pickup set that is like the les paul but superior. That's why i asked about the gibson 57's and gibson burstbuckers being that those are from the les paul maker and are historically matched with les pauls.
#34
Quote by changeling93305
311ZOSOVHJH As for buying all the amps, i have made profit each time i got rid of one. So when i see a bargain locally i buy it if it is clearly being sold for less then it's going used market value so i am never out anything. It gives me time to own and enjoy a new amp for awhile. I do want to establish one keeper amp. I did do a quick audition of the spider in guitar center but it was not possible that day to do an A , B comparison with my other candidates. Things sound different in the store then they do in my playing area to. It is loud as hell in there with 10 amps being played at once and it is not easily to really remember what it sounds like in comparison to what i already like. The first impression was nice though.

monwobobbo , as for my tone i described it as best i could on the pickups. I liked the stock les paul tone alot i noted that notes had more sustain, and apparently it has more mid presence that is missing in my current pickups.

yeah. OK. I was just trying make sure you were not a Troll. In that case, I suggest you buy the Spider. It is a decent starter amp and you've already tried a bunch of other stuff so you would know better than us. Line 6 make nice products. Seems like a good fit. Have fun!

#35
Quote by coolstoryangus
Blackstars are designed by the genious' that brought you the jcm900 dual reverb I love teh diodes


Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X