#1
Well enough is enough. I know next to nothing when it comes to tube amps, especially heads. But I am starting to play more and more live shows, and recording my first album, so I can't get by on my Mustang III anymore. So, UltimateGuitar forums, please, recommend me a tube head.

I need to keep it under $1000 for head and cab together, so just a decent pseudo-mid-range half-stack. I play everything, including neo-classical, jazz, funk, punk, reggae, death-core, and all that lies in-between.

My location is Akron, OH, but the Craigslist here is ridiculous. I'm using a Schecter Damien Elite and a tele copy through this.

Oh and my band plays modern metal/alternative rock/punk, so a good hi-gain is necessary. Usable cleans are a must though. I'm not one for pedals or a butt-load of gain, so it doesn't have to get super-over-saturated-john petrucci-lead tones, just enough gain to sound metal. I really need help here guys, so anything would be appreciated.
#2
Whoa, I just moved from Akron a few months ago.

It's been a while since I played a JSX, and I don't recall whether it had good cleans or not, but the drive channel is pretty good. Definitely try one out if you get a chance. Can usually score one for around $600 if you look hard enough. That leaves enough for a used cab or a new avatar 212.

Could also see if you can find a used 5150 II. Those are pretty beastly, and have nice cleans. Should be able to find one around the same price as the JSX.

Also check out the Carvin V3m. There's a thread here in GG&A started by Linqua that gives a very detailed review of his, and he has some clips posted. $600 brand new, leaving the same amount for a cab.

There's probably some good marshalls in your price range too, but I'll defer to some of the other UG'ers who have more marshall knowledge.

EDIT: Here's Linqua's thread....

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1527897
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Last edited by jpatan at Mar 31, 2012,
#3
Thanks, and I loved the clean sounds from the Carvin, but the distortion wasn't what I'm going after. The 5150 is more on the track I'm after.
#4
Yeah the 5150 is nice. I know a guy that got one recently. I think he paid about $600 for it, but I don't recall if it was a 5150 II or III. If it was a III, he practically stole the thing. If it was a II he paid about market value.
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
#5
Jet City JCA50 head+cab used? Use a boost to get it really heavy if you need it, I guess. The cleans are very smooth from demos I've heard, but would seem like they get slightly dirty rather quickly.
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#6
^The JCA50/100s weren't designed for a clean tone really, I have to keep the pre around 2 and crank the post to get a useable clean tone around drummer levels. Anything past 3 or so starts to get crunchy and you lose that pristine clean. Its more useable than the 5150/6505 clean channel though. If you don't need a fantastic clean channel but something thats passable and want a versatile high gain head, the Jet City JCA50/100 is worth looking at. The 100 has a better low end to it as well. Keep in mind this amp doesn't have a super tight low response like a 5150, its more rounded and THICK. I'd recommend running a boost in front of this amp for heavy Br00tz, it will definitely do it on its own but a good boost will tighten the low end and still keep that giant thick, creamy tone it dishes out intact. I ran a Barber LTD in front of My JCA100 and fell in love with it.

The 5150ii/6505+ clean channel is practically on par with the 5150/6505. Its more useable due to the separate EQ, but still not great

A good versatile amp would be the Peavey JSX, it does high gain pretty well and the clean settings are great for being bundled with a brutal side. The 5150 III is supposed to be a good amp for such things too, I haven't tried one though. Or a Mesa Mark III/IV if you're incredibly lucky to find one in your budget. There's a Laney that gets recommended quite a bit for stuff like this but I can't recall the model at all right now...
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[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
Last edited by Flux'D at Mar 31, 2012,
#7
You can get a EVH 5150 III 50w head around that much. Should cover all your bases, and then some.
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#8
^^^ you talking used? He needs head and cab under $1000, the 50W 5150 is $999 new by itself. I've been looking for one myself, but since they're still so new they're pretty much nonexistant on the used market.
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
Last edited by jpatan at Mar 31, 2012,
#10
Vypyr Tube!

Or if you don't want something modeling, a Peavey JSX. They're ridiculously versatile (which is saying a lot, considering most modeling amps are not).

I would not recommend a Jet City amp for versatility. I guess JCA is the current gag reflex recommendation here now.
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#11
^I'd recommend the Jet City for versatility for anything not involving cleans. The secret weapon of the amp in my opinion is the clean channel when you crank the pre, it does fantastic crunch tones and sounds impressive with a S-S-S Strat. The OD has a much bigger/thicker low end and even more gain on tap, and is great for modern rock/metal.

The clean potential is very slim on this amp, unless you want some grit in your sound.
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
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1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#12
^ That kind of defeats the purpose of it being a "versatile" amp though, if it can't do cleans. And it can't really do modern stuff on it's own. So in my eyes, it's not a versatile amp at all. More like a 70's-90's amp. (Not saying that it's a bad amp, for what it is.)
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
#13
Quote by Offworld92
^ That kind of defeats the purpose of it being a "versatile" amp though, if it can't do cleans.
You mean like this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_v9Q-uBPGo

Quote by Offworld92
And it can't really do modern stuff on it's own.
Like this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFCmRUHeKhQ (Gain was at 4 btw; a bit too high really).

Seems versatile to me.

I think you're confusing the 100h/50h with their smaller 20w heads. I will agree the 20w Jet Cities (minus the 22h) fully lack versatility and really aren't good for much other than Classic Rock and alt/indie-whatever stuff.
#14
Quote by Ian_the_fox


Seems versatile to me.

I think you're confusing the 100h/50h with their smaller 20w heads. I will agree the 20w Jet Cities (minus the 22h) fully lack versatility and really aren't good for much other than Classic Rock and alt/indie-whatever stuff.


Conceded (although I still haven't heard it doing any pristine cleans, so it'd still be out for jazz).
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
#15
It doesn't do pristine cleans, as long as you're not shooting for Fender cleans it is a pretty versatile amp. It covers a lot of ground from light grit to full out metal, especially with a boost. And the EQ is pretty flexible for being passive. You'd be surprised with what ground it will do

Quote by Offworld92
^ That kind of defeats the purpose of it being a "versatile" amp though, if it can't do cleans.
There's more than one clean, one grit, and one distortion. This amp nails a lot of ground within grit and distortion and sounds great doing it. It's versatile if you're not wanting pristine clean tones, which is what I said earlier
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
Last edited by Flux'D at Mar 31, 2012,
#16
Guitar center sells some pretty good used gear for pretty cheap, and it actually works. If it does have flaws they have to straight up tell you and you can take it back in 30 days.

http://used.guitarcenter.com/usedGear/index.cfm

Also I have the jsx head and it's pretty damn good for versatility imo, although you have to crank the Resonance or Presence to get the most out of the heavey metal distortion tone.
Last edited by zomgguitarz1234 at Mar 31, 2012,
#17
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#18
The Jet City 50 watt seems to be my favorite right now. Thanks guys