#1
Hello UG-fellows.

So, I'm looking for a new amplifier, but I'm not really sure what to get. I've got some things in mind, but feedback and suggestions are always welcome. I currently only play at home, but there is a reasonable chance that I will be playing in a band when I finish university.

Budget?
600 euros are practical, 800 is "if it's necessary", 1000 is the absolute maximum and I'd preferably not go over 800.

Genres?
I play a bit of everything that isn't superheavy metal. I mostly play rock, pop-rock, some hardrock and just clean stuff. I definitely need cleans and I want pristine cleans. Shouldn't breakup easily. For the higher gain stuff, I certainly like the sound of the Suhr Riot and I'm probably getting that.

New or Used?
I prefer new, because I'm always happy to have stuff with warranty and be sure it's never been thoroughly used. Used is not a problem if the quality of the product is significantly better, but I only really like to go used for huge differences in price or if the item has been discontinued.

Home or Gig?
I currently only play at home, but I intend to gig with it in the long run. Volume-wise it's not a problem that I play at home, I can play at whatever volume I want.

Closest City?
I live in Belgium, Europe. It's a small country, so anything in my country is fine, but I recon you won't go looking for stuff in my area.

Current Gear?
I have a Gibson SG Standard as guitar and I use a Vox Wah, an EHX LPB and a Big Muff Pi. I probably will buy a Suhr Riot along with the amplifier.

Extra information:
I prefer a combo instead of a head and cabinet.
It should take pedals really well.
Preferably not over 50 watts.
I won't have an amplifier shipped to me.

I have looked into the Vox AC series, but I was wondering: How much difference is there in between the newer models made in China and the older ones made in the UK? People who sell UK-models used obviously say they are far better, but I haven't played a UK one, so I can't compare.

I did like the Vox AC15C1 I played and the added tremolo is a nice feature.

I also thought about the Fender Blues Junior III, but I haven't tried it yet. It also costs 10% more than the AC15C1.

Used amplifiers for sale at this moment that might be interesting in my price range are:
Mesa Boogie DC-5
Vox AC15TB
Vox AC50 Classic Plus
Fender Blues Deluxe
Marshall Bluesbreaker
H&K Statesman Quad EL84 (I don't like the H&K a friend of mine has though)
Orange Rocker 30


Thanks in advance!
#2
Firstly; I wish all people would make their post as detailed as yours. Yes it was longer but it makes it so much easier for us to help :-)

Ok. When I was reading the first amp I thought of was a Vox AC30, then I saw how much they are so considered the AC15. With the addition of the Suhr Riot I then thought 'hey maybe he could buy a small Fender' so you hit the nail on the head with the Blues Jr. too. Well done.

Maybe another amp to check out is the Peavey Classic 30.

How much is the Marshall Bluesbreaker?!

Why aren't you prepared to have the amplifier delivered? You are fortunate because Thomann would be able to ship it for only 8eur!
Current Gear
-----------------
Washburn WI66 Pro //
Ibanez Prestige SA1260 //
Schecter C1 Blackjack //
Fernandes Ravelle Elite //
Wahburn HB35 Semi-Hollowbody
Blackstar HT40
#3
Vox ceased to make amps in the UK at the end of the Sixties, so the refference is way back in time, too far to be taken in consideration. Vox reissues were made in Japan first, then in Korea, then in China, while my Night Train is made in Vietnam. Until now, no problems whatsoever and a terrific sound. The NT head plus NT matched cabinet have costed me under 600 euros, but the head was discounted. Altogether, they aren't bigger than a combo and the package is very comfortable (check my review for details).
If you want great cleans, for 800 euros, you only have two choices: Fender and Vox. Marshall never had impressive cleans, and it's a general remarque that in the last decade, Marshall has slowly declined: Haze Combo or MA 50 aren't good tools. Orange is great for distortion, but again, it sports mediocre cleans. Blackstar HT 40, Koch or Engl are too expensive. About Peavey, I'd say Classic 30 could be an option, but after a while you'll feel the need to replace its stock speaker, whose performances are way below the general level of the amp itself. I don't know if you really want to do that.
So, IMHO, there's Fender Blues Deluxe Jr. or AC 15 (if you stick to the 800 euros limit), or Fender Hotrod Deluxe, Fender Blues Deluxe or AC 30 (if you agree to pay a little more, but still below the 1000 euros).
#4
And one more thing. As you know, the sound you'll hear doesn't come from the guitar only or from the amp exclusively. It's a combination of the two units, which form one instrument in fact. Try not to buy the amp online, no matter how cheap it may look. Take your guitar and test the amp with your guitar. If it sounds good for you, there's your amp. Online traders only sell pictures, not sounds.
#6
i would say that either the AC15 and AC30 are good choices, but if you are seeking pristine cleans then you might wanna go with a fender, maybe a deluxe reverb
Fender Strat Deluxe
Fender MexiStrat
Epiphone Sheritan
Ibanez Artcore
Fender Twin Reverb silverface
Roland JC120
Pedals

Quote by CaptainAmerican
I would recommend the marshal MG100

Very versatile and quality sound. It should treat you well
#7
if you look into fender amps you can sometimes get really good deals on the vintage ones, a vintage deluxe reverb (which is only 22 watts) would probably sit right in your price range, the reissues are a grand but if you shop used you can get em cheaper.
Fender Strat Deluxe
Fender MexiStrat
Epiphone Sheritan
Ibanez Artcore
Fender Twin Reverb silverface
Roland JC120
Pedals

Quote by CaptainAmerican
I would recommend the marshal MG100

Very versatile and quality sound. It should treat you well
#8
I don't recommend the Blues Junior. In my opinion, that amp is only good for its cleans. If you want to play hard rock without a boost, it won't do you much good. With a boost, I got terrible feedback and hissing. If you can find one, try the Peavey Classic 30. I was going to try it out, but I could never find one.
#9
traynor ycv50b on thomann?

dunno if i'd bother with a suhr riot. i think they reversed it on freestompboxes and it didn't seem to be anything too out of the ordinary. never tried one but i haven't been too impressed by the clips. also i'd query the wisdom of throwing down 200 euro on a pedal when your amp budget, while definitely decent, isn't exactly "money's no object". you could probably just get a better amp which'd mean you wouldn't need the pedal. for example, that extra money would bump you up into engl screamer territory.

EDIT: congrats on making a good first post, by the way.

of course i didn't really read it*, but in principle, nice work.


* nah i did, don't worry.
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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?
#11
@barnesybaby:

First of all, thanks for posting. While I know Thomann (and Musicstore) would ship it for free (yes, they ship free if you pay more than 100 euros), I don't feel comfortable to have it shipped, because when I have a problem with it, I either have to ship it back or I have to drive to Germany. My local guitar shop also offers the same or even better prices, so aside from what they might not carry, they're good.

I have checked the Classic 30, but it isn't available now and they'd have to specially order it for me. That means that I am obliged to buy it before I try and eventually wait longer (which isn't much a problem though).

The Bluesbreaker is going for 800.

@rv_phoenix:

Thank you for the input on Vox. I know Fender and Vox probably are the only options if I want cleans. I didn't like the Blackstar HT40 I played when I bought my guitar, so that's a no-go anyway. :P

I also don't intend to buy it online. I want to know that it sounds good with my particular guitar, so I'm going to the shop anyway.

@kyle62:

I don't know the sound of de DC-5 at all. What could I compare it to? Other Mesa's, or maybe something else?

@gerraguitar:

I think a Fender might have to much headroom for me. I like very clean cleans, but I also like some breakup and not having to blow my eardrums. I have checked and there are no vintage Deluxe Reverbs for sale used now. The Fender amps for sale at this moment are The Twin, a Twin Amp, a Blues Deluxe and some Hot Rod Deluxes.

@StratR96:

Is it really that bad? I don't intend to play hardrock without a boost, but feedback and hissing is the last thing I need. The Classic 30 isn't available here either.
--------------------------------------------------------

I've been wanting a Vox for a while now and I really like them. I made the decision to buy my SG when I played it through a Vox, even though I didn't like SG's before I went into the store. I think that also says a lot about it. :P

So I've been checking some Vox amplifiers my local store carries (they have a nice site with availability up to date and everything ^^) and I have some questions:

1. They have the Vox AC15C1 and the AC15C2. The C1 has one speaker and goes for 525 euros, the C2 has 2 speakers and goes for 666 euros. Does the speaker make a lot of difference and is it worth the extra 140 euros?

2. There also is the AC30C2, which runs for 870 euros. If I must believe the site, it has an effects loop the AC15Cx doesn't have. I never used the FX loop on an amplifier before, but let's say I'd buy a delay pedal. Would I miss the FX loop? I know you can run a pedal practically anywhere you want, but there are guidelines of course.

3. In a band situation, would I need the 30W or come short with the 15W? The 15W seems ridiculously loud as it is, but I haven't heard or used it in a band situation.

Thanks again for all the answers and helping out.
#12
Sorry, didn't catch all answers to reply:

@Dave_MC:

I know it might seem a little strange to pay 200 for a pedal with my budget, but haven't really found an amplifier that I like the cleans of, the overdrive and that takes pedals really well. I haven't played an ENGL before though.

I can't test the Traynor YCV50 unless I drive to Germany, so that's only an option if I really would have to.

@311ZOSOVHJH:

As I said, I can't test either of those without either driving to Germany or buying it without trying it.
I don't really feel too much love for Bugera amplifiers. Not because of the issues with reliability they (used to) have, but I just didn't like the sound of the V5 I played and the 6262 I played.

Also, the better the OP, the better the answers, I guess?
#13
teh screamer does have pretty decent cleans (though i'm more of an overdrive player, so maybe take that with a pinch of salt)

i think thomann pays return postage if there's anything faulty. they did for me, anyway (and they'll get someone to pick it up from your house, too, if you ask them- again, they did for me, whether or not that's policy storewide, I don't know).

but if you don't want to do that, that's fair enough.

cologne/koeln isn't too far from belgium, right? there's a big music shop there, i think, musicstore (haven't been, just heard of it). Might be worth considering. i don't think they have the traynor, but they should have the engl (obviously phone or email first before making the trip!). And they'll probably have a bunch of other things worth trying too.

what's more important- cleans or distortion? if cleans are more important then the pedal route would make more sense, but if distortion is moer important... it makes more sense to get something aimed at distortion, if you ask me, and put up with teh cleans. i mean it's not like a screamer's cleans are bad.
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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?
#14
I've been to Musicstore once. It's a nice store and they're really kind, but it's a while to drive.
The Traynor and the Classic 30 basically are the only options I would have to drive to Germany for. The Screamer is available close to where I live.

Cleans are definitely more important than distortion. I still have my London City Bulldog and I never use the drive channel anymore.
#15
Quote by I K0nijn I

@311ZOSOVHJH:

As I said, I can't test either of those without either driving to Germany or buying it without trying it.
I don't really feel too much love for Bugera amplifiers. Not because of the issues with reliability they (used to) have, but I just didn't like the sound of the V5 I played and the 6262 I played.

Also, the better the OP, the better the answers, I guess?

I didn't care for the V5 or the 6262 necessarily either. The V22 is a different matter. Try one some day. I mean with your budget you can do better - just throwing that out there.

The Traynor YCV50B is one amp I can recommend someone buy sight unseen. They are truly wonderful amps. Very nice cleans and enough dirt to do thrash metal. Well built. Take a chance I say. I'd take it over a Vox or a Blues Jr personally but I'm a EL34 kinda guy.

Yes. Definitely.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Jan 16, 2012,
#16
I'll try to play the Bugera, but I've just found out the shop I go to doesn't carry it anymore, or at least, they aren't on their site anymore.

I just found out that the music store on the corner of my street (yes, I have one at the end of my street, but I never go there actually) should have the Classic 30, so I'll go test that soon if it's in.

For the Traynor, I'll search a bit if there is a store closer than Germany that caries the brand, and test it if possible.
#17
Egnater Tweaker?

I like the cleans quite a bit. Especially on the AC setting. Versatile too.
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She insists to wear this lights.

I don't think so.

How can I persuade her?
#18
Quote by I K0nijn I
I've been to Musicstore once. It's a nice store and they're really kind, but it's a while to drive.
The Traynor and the Classic 30 basically are the only options I would have to drive to Germany for. The Screamer is available close to where I live.

Cleans are definitely more important than distortion. I still have my London City Bulldog and I never use the drive channel anymore.


oh ok

yeah i mean if you can try the screamer close by then you might as well

do you not use the drive channel because it's crap or because you don't need drive?

not to second guess you or anything, but i've seen enough people whose only experience of a valve overdrive channel is a fender HRD say that preamp valve distortion is horrible to be sceptical

but certainly if you mainly use cleans then that's absolutely fine. or if you use a lot of fuzz or something like that, say.
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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?
#19
@JKHC:

I didn't really like the tweaker, nor the rebel, when I played those. But thanks anyway for checking out my topic.

@Dave_MC:

I don't use the drive channel because I don't need it. If I even use it, it's with the gain on just 1 and the volume on my guitar backed down. :P

The drive channel by itself is great in my opinion, but I don't really play a lot of stuff anymore which I need the drive channel for. The London City Bulldog (which I also still have) is more or less like a hot rodded plexi circuit I think, or at least, that's what it sounds like.
Last edited by I K0nijn I at Jan 16, 2012,
#20
ok

i mean you might as well try the screamer if you can get to one easily

but if you really definitely don't need the od channel then you could look at other single channel amps.

there's that fame/yerasov 40 watter at musicstore, but i haven't tried it.
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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?
#21
Yes, I will if I can.
I'd rather not go with Fame. Anything I've ever used they made was mediocre at best or broke down really quickly. =P
#22
sure, but at the same time it depends on what stuff you got from fame- they subcontract out. i think the amp i mentioned is made by yerasov in russia. who have (i think) a reasonable rep.

But still, if you don't want to chance it, that's fair enough. I mean I've always chickened out too with their stuff
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#23
I have looked up the Screamer on the site of the store I will go to and they have them in stock, but only in their stock, not in one of the shops. I might call and ask if they could get it to the store located near to me. The screamer however is a tad higher priced than the other amplifiers I want to check out.
#24
yeah it's definitely at the upper end of your budget
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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?
#28
The most frequently sold amplifiers here are Fenders, Marshalls and the occasional Vox, Orange or ENGL. The really high end "commercial" brands like Mesa, VHT, Diezel and such only pop up very rarely or not.

There also is an ENGL Raider up, but there is no price specified.
#29
Sorry for the late reply: In my experiences, the feedback and hiss from the Blues Jr. with a boost was unbearable. I returned as soon as I could. I'm not saying it's a bad amp: it really isn't. Just not my style. I want an amp that can handle a good amount of distortion before going insane. If you plan to play without a boost, it would be a pretty good amp except you wouldn't get much gain. ESPECIALLY at low volumes.
#30
Not a problem, I'm glad you reply anyway.
I use a boost (EHX Linear Power Booster) for the cleans, but I don't need enormous amounts of gain coming from the amplifier (because I wouldn't need another amp than I already have for that). I will give it a try if I can anyway, so we'll see.

I'm going to the store when I have time (got to study nowadays) and I'll decide with my ears and gut. I thank all of you for the advice and findings and I hope to be able to present my NAD soon!
I don't know if I can close the thread myself, or do I have to PM a mod/report it?
#31
you might as well just leave it open in case someone else thinks of something (or in case you do).
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#33
Hmm, I actually wanted to post earlier, but the quality of answer I have to match to the OP was a bit much.

Anyway, have you considered the Egnater Rebel 30? And the Tweaker? Surely there are 1 or 2 floating around?

What about the H&K TubeMeister? Not sure if it I'd in your budget range or not.

If you want prisine cleans, I personally wouldn't go for the Rocker. The cleans seem to be constantly bordering on gritty to me.

Of that list I'd always pick a Mesa over any other brand without batting an eyelid, but that's just me.
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#35
@ragingkitty:

I posted something about the Egnaters I believe in one of my later posts, but if I didn't: I didn't really like either of those. I can't really remember why, but I remember turning both of them off after a while and not liking it.

H&K isn't my favorite brand of amplifiers. Their general tone doesn't really suit me. I played the Statesman and a 90's H&K and neither of them really were what I was looking for when I bought my previous amplifier.

As much as I like Mesa as a brand, I don't really want to buy by name. I'll check the Mesa out though.

@acdcrocks0323:

I don't really want a Peavey to sound like an AC30, because I could get an AC30 if I did. But thanks for the suggestion, I'll try and check it out!
#36
So, little update:

I've been to the store today and played some amplifiers, here's the outcome:

I started out with the Vox AC15C1 and it blew me away. I had never opened the volume to real extent, so now I did. It's really awesome and I love its tone. It has more drive than I'd ever need and it has very nice cleans, in my opinion.

Then I played the Fender Blues Jr and it has a completely different tone. I didn't like the tone as much as I liked the tone of the Vox and the reverb was a little too much for me. Having it at more than 2-3 was just not really tasteful anymore to me.

After having toyed around with it, I noticed they had an ENGL Thunder 50. Played around with that one and while it had a nice lead tone, I didn't have the cleans I like. I don't know how different the Screamer is, but if they are a bit alike, it's not really what I want.

Having played those, I plugged into an Orange Thunder 30 as well, just to check it out and again, the cleans weren't really my favorite. The crunch was nice though.

All in all, I went back to the Vox AC15C1 and I liked it the best, so I'll be picking it up soon.
#37
i haven't tried the thunder. but considering you liked teh vox more than the blues junior, it's possible you just like voxey cleans more than fendery (and teh screamer does have fendery cleans), which is fair enough
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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?
#38
Yeah, I really like the Vox. The Blues Jr is nice in it's own way, but I didn't like the SG with it. Anyway, I'm not going to bother testing the Mesa DC-5 (which I was about to) and I'm buying the Vox. It has everything I want and I can use the extra money for some pedals. ^^
#39
Yea, apparently Blues Jr's sound pretty good with Strats (i guess cuz they are both Fenders). I was going to try out an AC15C1 but I never got the chance.
#40
As I hate the feel of strats, that won't be my niche. xD
So, another question:
I'm about to buy a pedalboard but I'm stuck in between 2 brands and I don't really know what size to get.

1. Pedaltrain or Stonecastle? I like the cable management option you have on the pedaltrain, but I like the functionality of the stonecastle more. It's just taking off the top and your good to go, while you need to lift the board out of the pedaltrain before using it (if I'm right on that one?).

2. How big should it be? I think a board for 6-8 pedals would be good, as following pedals will be on it: EHX Big Muff, EHX Nano LPB, EHX Memory Box Deluxe, Vox wah and the Vox footswitch + space enough for a tuner in the future.