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mdh2861
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2009
20 IQ
#1
I have $1500.00 to spend, I am comfortable buying used. I will NOT gig with this amp, but will practice with a drummer from time to time. I need this amp to be very versatile because I play EVERYTHING. Early "Big Band", Jazz, blues, 60 & 70's rock, 80's metal and ultra hi gain modern medal.

I am looking for "Decent" cleans, doesn't have to be the best. Great 80's rock, think JCM800 and high liquid distortion think mesa dual recto.... The rest, i'm fine with being something "inbetween".

I DO NOT want a 100 Watt amp.... been there, done that. I have a small, organized home studio and I like lower wattage amps. A big 100W stack would just be silly for me. 25 Watts with enough headroom to play clean over a drummer is fine...... I really like the concept of amps that can switch power, from 25 to say 10 & 15. Some of the amps I am considering are:

Mesa Mini Rectifier
Marshal DSL40C
EVH 5150 iii mini (50w) (No power attenuation, i'll never get above 1!)
Randal MTS modular amps (Low wattage, HARD to find...)
Mesa Mark V (Out of my price range, but in the realm of possibility if need be!)

What else do you all recommend?
Last edited by mdh2861 at Oct 23, 2012,
Addonexus408
Bay Area Thrash
Join date: Nov 2011
10 IQ
#2
The Randall MTS heads are really awesome, they are way versatile due to the swapable preamp modules. The low wattage makes it great for studio use and it can get as clean as you want or as heavy as you want and everything in between. I had a chance to work on one of these acouple months ago and it totally blew me away, really innovative stuff from Randall.
Quote by shredder3386
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mdh2861
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2009
20 IQ
#3
I like the concept of the randalls too.. I am just not finding a lot of them for sale anywhere.... Looking for a 20-50 watt head or combo, cant really find it! I guess I see a couple 50 watt combo's for sale, but with no power attenuation i'm scared that might be too much wattage for me.
Last edited by mdh2861 at Oct 23, 2012,
red.guitar
Imagine All The People
Join date: Mar 2007
160 IQ
#6
I recommend the Mesa express 5:50. It's great for practicing or jamming, since it switches between 5 and 50watts.

I has great cleans, and its distortion can go from blusy od, to a nice metal tone, all while hitting all the sweet spots inbetween!
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Ian_the_fox
Banned
Join date: Feb 2011
270 IQ
#7
Carvin V3. Will do everything you want, extreme distortion plus some of the best cleans on any hi-gain head, and can operate in 100, 50, or 25 watts if the more compressed sound is what you're after.

http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/V3

Pair it with a good 2x12 cabinet and you're good to go.


There's also the V3m which is a more compact version, but I've played both and I find the standard V3 is superior as the m has an EL84 power section.
Last edited by Ian_the_fox at Oct 23, 2012,
Addonexus408
Bay Area Thrash
Join date: Nov 2011
10 IQ
#8
Quote by mdh2861
I like the concept of the randalls too.. I am just not finding a lot of them for sale anywhere.... Looking for a 20-50 watt head or combo, cant really find it! I guess I see a couple 50 watt combo's for sale, but with no power attenuation i'm scared that might be too much wattage for me.

I had one of the 100 watt models to work on so i wouldnt know if the low wattage ones are overpowered done flame me for this but what about a Line 6 DT25? i havnt played one myself but ive seen alot of reviews and they all say great things. 25/10 watts would be awesome for your needs. Look into it man, the demos ive seen sound awesome
Quote by shredder3386
Yup, Addonexus nailed it...
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sg4ever
clashof the coconuts
Join date: Jul 2006
421 IQ
#9
I feel like the Mark V would be the best for you out of all of those if you can squeeze for it or find a good deal on it. I didn't feel like 90 watt mode was very overbearing, but the lower wattages made things easier.
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dementiacaptain
Chiefin' Son
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#12
The not wanting a hundred watts limits you a bit, but everyone has the right idea. I will vouch for the v3 and royal Atlantic, both awesome and versatile
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furin121
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2007
20 IQ
#13
Look into the Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister line. I have a TM 18 and love it and believe it fits what you are looking for. I think they have a higher wattage version and it has built in wattage selector. I believe the 18 is 18w, 5w, 1w, and silent (redbox direct out).

I just checked and they have a 36 (selectable to 36, 18, 5, 1, and RB out) for around 1000$. Anyway, might be worth checking out if you haven't already.
Ian_the_fox
Banned
Join date: Feb 2011
270 IQ
#14
Keep in mind, with most 100w amps you can pull the two center tubes and operate it at 50w instead of 100w. Just be aware that the impedance changes and it's not capable with all amps (Valveking I know is an exception, along with a few Egnaters IIRC)
tukk04
UG's Neil Young
Join date: Sep 2008
101 IQ
#15
I know this is only half of what you have to spend, but fender hot-rod or blues deluxes are nice, and extremely versitile. If you want something more boutique-like try an egnater.
drying out
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2009
70 IQ
#16
express or mark v
Esp Eclipse II
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Vox Heritage cab 1x12
bassmastamitch
Isn't good at bass
Join date: Aug 2010
255 IQ
#19
Quote by tukk04
I know this is only half of what you have to spend, but fender hot-rod or blues deluxes are nice, and extremely versitile. If you want something more boutique-like try an egnater.



Those are pretty much two or three trick ponies.

I say Mark IV or V if you can squeeze it in. But I think a Fractal AxeFX would be ideal.
shredftw
Back from the dead
Join date: Jul 2009
130 IQ
#20
Quote by Campbell22
Get dat sexy Peavey 6505+, very versatile




I for one am not a fan of the V3. I've played the V3M a fair bit in the shop near me and no matter what I just cannot get on with it, it always sounds fizzy in the top end and from all I know it is exactly the same as the V3 but may run on different power tubes??

Anyways, if I were you I'd look into AxeFx + poweramp or try and find a good deal on a used Mesa Mark V. The Royal Atlantic is going to be a bit out of your price range even used as they're not that old, and people seem to like them a fair bit so won't easily part with them either.

The Mark V is one of the most versatile and best sounding tube amps I've ever played. The clean channel is to die for, the crunch channel has some real nice grit to it and the high gain channel is pure Mark series awesome. If you can get one of those I would strongly recommend it.

The AxeFx + poweramp is an even more versatile option, but it depends on exactly what you need. Personally if you dont need to worry about saving space and easy home recording I would snap up a Mark V, but if you do then the AxeFx is a better option. It also has every effect under the sun and known to mankind in it with limitless possibilities for you to create guitar sounds.

TLDR: if you want to be able to record at home and want to save space go AxeFx Ultra + poweramp of some sort. If you don't need that, then grab a second hand Mesa Mark V head. Both will do exactly what you need
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tukk04
UG's Neil Young
Join date: Sep 2008
101 IQ
#21
Quote by bassmastamitch


Those are pretty much two or three trick ponies.

I say Mark IV or V if you can squeeze it in. But I think a Fractal AxeFX would be ideal.
I've played quite a few and they do enough for me, I change styles by playing differently and using different pups and rolling off the tone along with changing how I'm playing and those changes and a decent overdrive are enough for me if I had to go without any other pedals, throw in a good distortion or fuzz and I can give ya metal too.
Ian_the_fox
Banned
Join date: Feb 2011
270 IQ
#22
Quote by shredftw


I for one am not a fan of the V3. I've played the V3M a fair bit in the shop near me and no matter what I just cannot get on with it, it always sounds fizzy in the top end and from all I know it is exactly the same as the V3 but may run on different power tubes??
I've played a few V3's in person and a used V3m in GC. The tubes make a massive difference.

The V3 is much more focused and has a more clear/robust sound. The EL84's in the V3m simply kill everything. I really don't get why so many lower-watt amps targeted towards hi-gain players are loaded with them. They sound horrible for metal.
mmolteratx
UG God
Join date: Sep 2008
380 IQ
#24
The MTS series is really what you want, though you could do something like a 6505+ combo and Deluxe Reverb in stereo, which would be super hawt.

Quote by tukk04
I've played quite a few and they do enough for me, I change styles by playing differently and using different pups and rolling off the tone along with changing how I'm playing and those changes and a decent overdrive are enough for me if I had to go without any other pedals, throw in a good distortion or fuzz and I can give ya metal too.


I've owned or played all of the very highly regarded high gain pedals and not one can touch my Diezel, CEC or Boogie. Especially through an HRD, which I also used to own. The guys got a budget of $1500, why the hell would you settle for an HRD and a mediocre pedal with that much money? Not to mention the HRD is even lousier at low volumes.
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bassmastamitch
Isn't good at bass
Join date: Aug 2010
255 IQ
#25
Quote by tukk04
I've played quite a few and they do enough for me, I change styles by playing differently and using different pups and rolling off the tone along with changing how I'm playing and those changes and a decent overdrive are enough for me if I had to go without any other pedals, throw in a good distortion or fuzz and I can give ya metal too.

My rig (in my sig) consists of a Hot Rod Deluxe as the main amp, and the awesome Wampler Triple Wreck for all of my dirt. The distortion channel of the HRD is absolutely useless. For anything. It's really just bad. The cleans are quite good; a good platform for pedals, and with the right ones, it can sound really good. But tube distortion coming from the amp, especially with dat budget, will nearly always sound better.
R45VT
Doesn't speak guitar
Join date: Dec 2009
110 IQ
#26
Mark V is very versatile but its not really a high gain monster. Gain needs to be damn near maxed out on channel 3.

The 90/45/10w deal on the mark V is more then just a lower wattage for headroom. When you are in 10w mode it operates in class A. Simply amazing and would be great for your studio recording.

Each channel has 3 modes, three different cleans from mid cleans to fat cleans to dirty(awesome). Channel 2 is the "crunch OD channel" which I really like. I surprised the shit out of me. It really ads to the versatility.

Channel 3 was almost a let down. You really have to EQ the crap out of it. MKIIC+ and MKIV modes are my favorite. Heavy and full sounding when done correctly. EQ must change between MKIV and MKII which is a PITA. Need to write it down/take a picture so you don't lose your favorite. It also has a memory for the graphic EQ. Extreme channel is brighter but higher gain. Clarity is amazing and makes other amps look foolish.

Does it cover british sounding amps? No. Almost everything else minus super high gain blurring chords distortion.


EDIT: My brother has either an RM or MTS- I can't remember- they are a great value, esp used. Just get a different amp module and you have a new amp practically. Absolutely love them. The versatility is your choice. Also there is forum dedicated to mods that can be done to the premaps. One of the guys here posted some clips and they were amazing. I think his name was kylendm or something.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
Last edited by R45VT at Oct 23, 2012,
R45VT
Doesn't speak guitar
Join date: Dec 2009
110 IQ
#28
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH


It comes with 6L6. You can get EL34 and flip a switch for the bias. It might make you happy.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
Tempoe
. . . ∆ . . .
Join date: Oct 2008
210 IQ
#30
I'd probably go modelling amp if you won't be gigging. I think most of the tube amps mentioned won't sound too great set on 1, they need to be up a bit. If you can make some noise where you live, then that's different.
R45VT
Doesn't speak guitar
Join date: Dec 2009
110 IQ
#31
Quote by Tempoe
I'd probably go modelling amp if you won't be gigging. I think most of the tube amps mentioned won't sound too great set on 1, they need to be up a bit. If you can make some noise where you live, then that's different.


I use my mkv in my bedroom. Sounds great, even in 90w mode.

For modeling AxeFXII or Kemper. Cheaper alternatives: Line6 HDpod or elevenrack.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
mdh2861
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2009
20 IQ
#33
WOW, thanks for all the GREAT replies. Im seriously considering the mark V now, as I suspected. Seems like it does everything, except the possible blistering rip your face off dual recto nu metal stuff..... Wierdly, when paying 2500 for an amp, I want that too... Someone tell me it gets close and im sold! I really want this to be MY amp. I dont care how much I pay for it anymore, I just want it to be "it". I know this is all a never ending battle for ALL of us.

So.. combo? Or head & 2x12??

Dont worry ill change my mind tomorrow!!
Last edited by mdh2861 at Oct 24, 2012,
trashedlostfdup
diet coke fiend.
Join date: Apr 2010
1,300 IQ
#34
Quote by mdh2861
WOW, thanks for all the GREAT replies. Im seriously considering the mark V now, as I suspected. Seems like it does everything, except the possible blistering rip your face off dual recto nu metal stuff..... Wierdly, when paying 2500 for an amp, I want that too... Someone tell me it gets close and im sold! I really want this to be MY amp. I dont care how much I pay for it anymore, I just want it to be "it". I know this is all a never ending battle for ALL of us.

So.. combo? Or head & 2x12??

Dont worry ill change my mind tomorrow!!


i would go for a head and a cab. i have a MKIV and i love it, haven't played one yet but a lot of people like the V i just always liked the IV and didn't want to drop $2.5k

one thing to consider or may not matter at all is that Lamb of God from where i read that they didn't want to use the V's and wanted to stay with the IV's, but mesa didn't want them to so LOG went to another head.

my IV long head ($875) gets pretty heavy. its a different type of heavy than a Rec or a 5150/6505, but it does get up there.

i would go with the V if you have the money and want to spend it. (based on clips and demos), again my GC never has any new mesas, i don't think they sell them, but used Recs pop in every once and a while.

you could also look at it as picking up a IV for a grand and get another amp. for example i paid $1,000 for my Splawn Nitro, and paid $875 for the MarkIV. my $1875 went further that $2500 a mark V is. again its just what you want, and where you want to look for a good deal.
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Perverockstar69
Registered User
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#35
Kemper?

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R45VT
Doesn't speak guitar
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#36
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i would go for a head and a cab. i have a MKIV and i love it, haven't played one yet but a lot of people like the V i just always liked the IV and didn't want to drop $2.5k

one thing to consider or may not matter at all is that Lamb of God from where i read that they didn't want to use the V's and wanted to stay with the IV's, but mesa didn't want them to so LOG went to another head.

my IV long head ($875) gets pretty heavy. its a different type of heavy than a Rec or a 5150/6505, but it does get up there.

i would go with the V if you have the money and want to spend it. (based on clips and demos), again my GC never has any new mesas, i don't think they sell them, but used Recs pop in every once and a while.

you could also look at it as picking up a IV for a grand and get another amp. for example i paid $1,000 for my Splawn Nitro, and paid $875 for the MarkIV. my $1875 went further that $2500 a mark V is. again its just what you want, and where you want to look for a good deal.



Good information and great points. There have been a few people who have said the MKV is not worth the extra premium over the MKIV.

Also note Willie and Mark from LoG use different settings on the mark V. Willie uses EXTREME mode and Mark uses MKIV mode. That is a least what was going on in their Mesa "sponsored" you tube clips. In actuality I believe they both prefer the MKIV over the V and now Mark uses the Royal Atlantic for parts. Just to expand a little. This could be outdated now.

I think you should sit down and play it. A lot of GCs carry them if you are in the US. See if your local one has a MKIV you can compare too as well. Its budget friendly and could leave room for a new cab or another head.

What part of the country are you in?
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
Last edited by R45VT at Oct 24, 2012,
Offworld92
One among the fence.
Join date: Nov 2009
520 IQ
#37
Look into an Axe FX. A full rig might put you over budget, but nothing else will really come close to actually nailing such a diverse set of tones.

There are a lot of amps out there that are relatively versatile, but they usually do one thing fairly well, and just half ass everything else.

A modeling amp on the other hand can actually pull off such a wide range of tones convincingly.

Even though it's way under budget, do check out the Peavey Vypyr Tube.


As far as non-modeling goes, the only amp I can really recommend with a straight face for what you want to do would be the Mesa Road King. Maybe a Mark V, check that out as well.
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DarthV
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50 IQ
#38
Quote by Offworld92
Look into an Axe FX. A full rig might put you over budget, but nothing else will really come close to actually nailing such a diverse set of tones.


My Kemper has issues with that statement
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mdh2861
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2009
20 IQ
#39
haha, well, I pulled the trigger! ordered a mesa mark v and mesa 2x12 cab to the tune of $2900! I woke up this morning and promptly cancelled the order, way over my intended 1500... I like the idea of modeling amps and may check out the fractal axe-fx. Its back to the drawing board. I secretly was hopping my order had been shipped so I couldnt cancel!
R45VT
Doesn't speak guitar
Join date: Dec 2009
110 IQ
#40
Hahahahaha.

Good luck and bump this if you have questions.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
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