Poll: Which amp to purchase?
Poll Options
View poll results: Which amp to purchase?
Bugera V22
3 10%
Jet City JCA2212
12 39%
Blackstar HT Studio 20
7 23%
Look elsewhere
9 29%
Voters: 31.
#1
Hey everyone. I'd like a smallish tube amp that can play a wider variety of styles. I'll mainly be playing at home. Hard rock/Metal will be played mostly (Metallica, Tool, Black Sabbath, AC/DC), but I certainly do like to play some blues from time to time.

My budget is around $550. I've narrowed the field down to 3. Thinking of running a Metal Muff through it.

Bugera V22

Jet City JCA2212

Blackstar HT Studio 20

Thanks for your opinions!
#4
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Thanks!
#5
if your main concern is metal, it makes no sense to buy an amp planning to use a distortion pedal, when there are other options that sound better (maybe the amps OD channel). using an OD to tighten up a little bit is different.

i had a JCA2112RC (older single channel). i didn't really care for it all that much, it was far from terrible, just not where i wanted it to be. if you boost it with an OD, and are decent at EQing you shouldn't have a problem with metal. i haven't played the new two channel one though.

in that price bracket the best thing for versatility would be a tweaker, but those dont really get to a "metal" tone. IMO Egnater is winning in the cheap low wattage amp war going on. i had one for a little while got sick of it and sold it. the tweaker is worth trying for you though as none of those tones are too extreme, amd you may be very satisfied with it.

one guy on here last night had a good point about a Peavey Valve King, as you can find the 1x12"s dirt cheap, and they are one of the few smaller amps (i think it is like 50 watts or something) that have two channels a clean and a dirty with independent EQ. the only downside with a VK is you need some other gear with it to reach potential. i had the head version a few years ago. you will definitely want a boost (a pedal that every guitarist shoud have IMO), an EQ (again something that everybody should have) in the loop and a speaker swap. you could get all of this in your price range and be pretty happy. again dont look at the pedals (or the speaker) as sunken funds when you get a different amp someday, obviously you would keep the pedals if you sold it, and if you were smart you would have the stock speaker too, which you could use at some other point.
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#6
I have never played the other amps, so I'm a little biased, but the HT-20 is incredible for how much it costs. I played one not long ago and it was better than everything else I had played with a similar price-range. You wouldn't need a metal muff either, the distortion is very versatile. It can be a nice light crunch that's really reactive to your playing (for the blues stuff), or some super fuzz for your metals. The only problem is the lack of EQ for the clean channel, but you could always spend the money you have set aside on the metal muff for a EQ pedal or something.
#7
Quote by trashedlostfdup
if your main concern is metal, it makes no sense to buy an amp planning to use a distortion pedal, when there are other options that sound better (maybe the amps OD channel). using an OD to tighten up a little bit is different.

i had a JCA2112RC (older single channel). i didn't really care for it all that much, it was far from terrible, just not where i wanted it to be. if you boost it with an OD, and are decent at EQing you shouldn't have a problem with metal. i haven't played the new two channel one though.

in that price bracket the best thing for versatility would be a tweaker, but those dont really get to a "metal" tone. IMO Egnater is winning in the cheap low wattage amp war going on. i had one for a little while got sick of it and sold it. the tweaker is worth trying for you though as none of those tones are too extreme, amd you may be very satisfied with it.

one guy on here last night had a good point about a Peavey Valve King, as you can find the 1x12"s dirt cheap, and they are one of the few smaller amps (i think it is like 50 watts or something) that have two channels a clean and a dirty with independent EQ. the only downside with a VK is you need some other gear with it to reach potential. i had the head version a few years ago. you will definitely want a boost (a pedal that every guitarist shoud have IMO), an EQ (again something that everybody should have) in the loop and a speaker swap. you could get all of this in your price range and be pretty happy. again dont look at the pedals (or the speaker) as sunken funds when you get a different amp someday, obviously you would keep the pedals if you sold it, and if you were smart you would have the stock speaker too, which you could use at some other point.


Wow. Very thought out response. That really does help. I keep overlooking the VO because of the need for upgrades, but I will reconsider.

Thank you.
#8
Quote by Lucas--
I have never played the other amps, so I'm a little biased, but the HT-20 is incredible for how much it costs. I played one not long ago and it was better than everything else I had played with a similar price-range. You wouldn't need a metal muff either, the distortion is very versatile. It can be a nice light crunch that's really reactive to your playing (for the blues stuff), or some super fuzz for your metals. The only problem is the lack of EQ for the clean channel, but you could always spend the money you have set aside on the metal muff for a EQ pedal or something.


I played the ht-5r and thought it sounded great, but a lot of people consider it to be a toy. A few have told me to stay away from blackstar altogether. Perhaps it's just marketing hype, but they seem to make a quality product. They do market their product well. I keep looking at the ht 20 though and still consider it an option.
#9
The JCA and Blackstar are really solid options. Bugera... not so solid.
Personally I'd go with the Jet City, but then again it's your choice.
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#10
Jet City or the Blackstar.
Amp:
Blackstar HT-50 Head
Orange PPC212

Guitars:
Fender Telecaster '62 Re-issue ('84)
Takamine G-Series Acoustic

Pedals:
Ibanez Tube Screamer
Boss TU-3
Boss DD-3
Boss BF-3
ISP Decimator
Zvex Fuzz Factory
Jim Dunlop DC Brick
#11
Quote by twxj97
I played the ht-5r and thought it sounded great, but a lot of people consider it to be a toy. A few have told me to stay away from blackstar altogether. Perhaps it's just marketing hype, but they seem to make a quality product. They do market their product well. I keep looking at the ht 20 though and still consider it an option.

`
I started to fear that I got cought up in the blackstar hype too, then when I called to my guitar teachers house last week and saw his new ht 40 he bought to use as a back up to his Mesa rack. Hes a proper pro, Im a garage basher, so Il take his word for it on their quality
07 Gibson Les Paul LE
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Floor
Cry Baby 95Q-> Digitech Whammy -> DD3 -> MXR Micro Amp-> TU 2
Loop
Holy Grail ->Boss Rc20 Loop Station
Amp
Laney GH50 with Zilla Fatboy 2x12 (celestion g12-65)
#12
Quote by gerrywm
`
I started to fear that I got cought up in the blackstar hype too, then when I called to my guitar teachers house last week and saw his new ht 40 he bought to use as a back up to his Mesa rack. Hes a proper pro, Im a garage basher, so Il take his word for it on their quality


A guitarist at my local shop plays professionally as well and owns the HT 40. Can't be all that bad.
#13
Quote by trashedlostfdup
if your main concern is metal, it makes no sense to buy an amp planning to use a distortion pedal, when there are other options that sound better (maybe the amps OD channel). using an OD to tighten up a little bit is different.

i had a JCA2112RC (older single channel). i didn't really care for it all that much, it was far from terrible, just not where i wanted it to be. if you boost it with an OD, and are decent at EQing you shouldn't have a problem with metal. i haven't played the new two channel one though.

in that price bracket the best thing for versatility would be a tweaker, but those dont really get to a "metal" tone. IMO Egnater is winning in the cheap low wattage amp war going on. i had one for a little while got sick of it and sold it. the tweaker is worth trying for you though as none of those tones are too extreme, amd you may be very satisfied with it.

one guy on here last night had a good point about a Peavey Valve King, as you can find the 1x12"s dirt cheap, and they are one of the few smaller amps (i think it is like 50 watts or something) that have two channels a clean and a dirty with independent EQ. the only downside with a VK is you need some other gear with it to reach potential. i had the head version a few years ago. you will definitely want a boost (a pedal that every guitarist shoud have IMO), an EQ (again something that everybody should have) in the loop and a speaker swap. you could get all of this in your price range and be pretty happy. again dont look at the pedals (or the speaker) as sunken funds when you get a different amp someday, obviously you would keep the pedals if you sold it, and if you were smart you would have the stock speaker too, which you could use at some other point.


At least someone listens to me

I personally don't like the Blackstar HT series. Bland sounding to me. I back used Peavey Valveking. It's pretty versatile, it can do the bands you listed, plus teh blues.
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#14
With that budget, you could get a Peavey Ultra head and a decent cab, or just a combo. 3 channels, nice cleans. Usually goes for about $250. Spend the rest of the mone on an EQ and/or OD to tighten it up (you should do this with most amps). Maybe get some fresh valves.
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#15
Have you considered the Orange Dark Terror? I got one of these about a month ago, and it is INCREDIBLE for metal. It has a huge amount of gain, and can clean up quite nicely. You'd be looking at maybe $50 - $100 more, but it is easily worth it.
Whatever you end up getting, i hope it treats you well!
#16
On topic: the 2212RC is a great amp, really versatile witha decent OD for metal.

Off topic slightly: liam_nz, how is the dark terror for Mastodon-type metal tones? I'm looking at one myself ATM
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#17
Hi Ibanez734. The Dark Terror is fantastic for Mastodon-esque sounds, considering that they themselves use Orange. It's quite a manipulative amp, and you'd be surprised how many sounds the 15 watts can create.
#18
It seems someone already suggested the Orange Dark Terror, even though that don't own it. I can tell you that you want the Dark Terror though, as I myself own it, and it's bad as fuck.

(In a good way)

Edit: Oh shit apparently he does own it. Regardless of my not bothering to read anyone's post you should still probably buy it.
Last edited by FearMyLightning at Dec 19, 2011,
#19
Good luck finding a Dark Terror AND a cab for that price. It's a great amp and will do everything you want and more but I've never seen a used one go for less that $650 and that's just the head.

That being said, I love the Jet City Amps, probably one of the best valued amps around. Just make sure you go with the JCA22- that extra channel comes in handy. Peavey is also a great option. A valve king will cover everything you want and will fit nicely in your budget. A Windsor would be a decent option as well, though you might need to throw a pedal out front to really do metal.