#1
I've gone a long time without an amp. My first actual "good" amp was a JCM800 2205 half stack I got a little over two years ago, then about 6 months after that, I traded the head for '78 2203 head. Then, about 6 months ago, I decided that I was way too heavily invested for my needs and sold that rig. I had well over $1000 invested in it, and it almost seemed pompous to have such expensive gear even though I'm nowhere near a professional. Besides, the thing was so big, loud and complicated (plug everything together, turn it on, let it warm up, tweak the master volume) that it just made me not want to play.

So, I've decided I want a modestly priced combo amp (like, less than $500 definitely, preferably under $300) that I can both play at reasonable volumes, and play in a gig should the need arise. I'd really like it to have an effects loop as well. Portability would be a huge plus. I don't really care if it's tube or solid state. My tube nazi days are over. Sure, you get a little more "warmth" and "punch", but is it really worth all that money? In fact, one amp I played a while back that I really liked was a solid state Randall RG100. I remember playing it and feeling like an idiot for spending all that money on Marshalls when that little solid state combo sounded almost as good (to my ears) for so much less money. Hell, to the untrained ear of the typical audience, there's probably no difference at all. I've been eyeing an RG80 1x12 on eBay, as a matter of fact.

What do you guys think? I'm open to any and all suggestions. Admittedly, I haven't even looked into the digital modeling route...
Last edited by CaptDin at Apr 9, 2012,
#3
It may be possible that your ear still hadn't (or hasn't?) developed enough yet

I understand where you're coming from, but never in a million years would I consider an RG100 to be even remotely comparable to a '78 2203. I also don't consider it to be complicated to hook up a head to a cab, turn it on, wait, then flip the standby on And EQing is part of being a guitarist... Now, having a big ass crazy pedalboard is complicated ( for me anyway )

No idea how often you play, but when you spend enough time plugged in your ear learns the difference. It becomes so damn obvious that when you go back to plug into your old 15 watt practice amp from way-back-when, you shudder in disbelief at how you at one point could think it sounded good.

So, for the third time,
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#4
You just described one of the most simple amps in existence as complicated. Uh...

Anyway. What kind of tones are you trying to get?

For something portable that sounds somewhat similar to what you had, you could look into a Marshall Class 5.
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#5
^ Yeah, I forgot to even suggest an amp lol

A Class 5 would definitely work out if you're just jamming at home.
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I've never wanted to see a guy eat dick so much in my life.
Quote by ali.guitarkid7 at #33553650
If you are white, you are scum.
#6
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It may be possible that your ear still hadn't (or hasn't?) developed enough yet

I understand where you're coming from, but never in a million years would I consider an RG100 to be even remotely comparable to a '78 2203. I also don't consider it to be complicated to hook up a head to a cab, turn it on, wait, then flip the standby on And EQing is part of being a guitarist... Now, having a big ass crazy pedalboard is complicated ( for me anyway )

No idea how often you play, but when you spend enough time plugged in your ear learns the difference. It becomes so damn obvious that when you go back to plug into your old 15 watt practice amp from way-back-when, you shudder in disbelief at how you at one point could think it sounded good.

So, for the third time,

It's not really a matter of ear for tone as it is just having a weird taste. With the Marshalls, I had to run my TS9 or my MXR EQ pedal to get the sound I liked. I liked the RG because I literally just plugged in and turned it on and got a decent sound. It reminded me of George Lynch's tone on Tooth And Nail. Apparently that's what he used on that album (or an RG80)

I'm not saying it's better or that it sounds just as good (there's definitely a difference), just that if I had originally gone from my 15w Spider 3 that I got when I started playing to that RG instead of buying a damn Marshall half stack, I would have probably been just as happy while spending about a grand less.
#7
If the budget is flexible, I would look into Sheldon Amplification. They're a small company based in Birmingham, who make really nice amps, very simple, their range is called TrueTone, it has very simple controls, with the aim simply being to give you a 'true tone'. So, whilst being a basic, simple design, it offers top quality tone.
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