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WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#1
Hey everyone,

I'm a new member at UG (although I've been using it for a long time) as a friend said that you offered very useful advice to him when he was looking to buy new gear a couple of months ago and now I find myself in a similar situation.

I live in the UK, just south of Bristol, and I'm looking to buy a new amp, my budget would be somewhere between 400 and 600 pounds, and, obviously, it's better the closer I can get it to the 400 mark.

Budget? £400-600.

Genres? Alternative, some rock (mostly very mild stuff) and blues. Favourite guitarists would be Jeff Buckley, Jeff Beck and Matt Schofield. The most important thing would be a good clean channel really.

New or Used? I'd prefer new but used would be fine if there is a great offer on.

Home or Gig? Emphatically only for home use currently (I've only just started trying to take it seriously after 3 or 4 years of noodling around)

Closest City? Bristol.

Current Gear? MIM Tele and a Laney amp of some description I currently am unable to access, but even I can tell it's a terrible, terrible amp.

Thanks in advance.
Last edited by WhatAStoryMark at Feb 1, 2013,
Remnest
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2012
120 IQ
#2
A Vox AC15 or a Fender Blues Deluxe or Hotrod may be up your alley i think.
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
440 IQ
#3
thomann sells the traynor ycv50b for around £450 or so (though the exchange rate has gone to crap over the past 10 days or so, it was 80p to a euro about that long ago, today it's 87p ). it's hard to beat for the money, plywood cabinet, made in canada, good vintage 30 stock speaker. whether it's too rock for you is the thing. Don't get me wrong, it's not a metal amp or anything like that (it's not heavy enough for what most people want round here ) but i'd say it's more or less a straight ahead rock amp.

I've only tried the 40 watt version, which has a worse speaker and 6L6 power tubes instead of the 50's EL34s (which probably make it a little more "british" and "rock"-sounding), but i thought that the 40 was a bit like a fender hot rod deluxe with a better overdrive channel. WHich is a good thing IMO, since the HRD's cleans are very nice for the price point, but the od channel sucks ass

for what you want a fender hot rod or blues deluxe may well be worth checking out, though. I think the traynor is the better amp, just the fenders may suit you more (though i doubt you'd go too far wrong with the traynor, either).

a laney vc30 might be worth a try too, but it's unlikely to be much more suitable than the traynor and is no cheaper (and arguably not as good value... arguably the traynor is the better amp).
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#5
To Dave, is the Traynor flexible? Because if so that sounds like a great shout and I'll definitely look into it. I will of course also look at the Fenders.

To Remnest, how good are the cleans on a Vox? I've heard a couple of people say different things.

And to Hellraiser, I unfortunately am away from my home at the moment so I can't tell you, it's a solid state practice amp though which I inherited from my father when I started playing. It's really not great.

Thanks for your prompt replies.
WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#6
Oh, and another question, how much worse are solid state amps? Because they are quite a lot cheaper and surely I could buy a 'better' amp for the same money?

Of course, I've always heard that all tube amps are better but mostly that's from my father or my friend, neither of whom I'm always confident in. So if you could offer some advice on which I should get in my specific situation that would be a great help.
daverichards
loves his fenders
Join date: Oct 2009
160 IQ
#7
After owning(still own) a Laney VC30, Vox Ac30/15 & Fender Blues Junior, they will all do the tone you're after..

You'd get the best deal on the Laney VC15/30 (theyre kinda like the Vox Ac series), definitely worth a look at in my opinion
Volcz
VCA '18
Join date: Oct 2011
192 IQ
#8
Depends on the clean your after. Vox's are known to have very, very good cleans. Their fame is partially from it's cleans/

Very chimey, bright and sweet. British toned amp.
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I hear they use false bypass switches.

It's, like, so ironic.
WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#9
Thanks, great response, although I can't say that I'll necessarily go entirely on the basis of someone whose name is 'The Vox Man' .

Dave as well, thanks a lot, I will definitely also look into the Laney.

This was definitely a success, I may be back in a couple of weeks/ a month, I'm going to need to get a couple of pedals and this has been very helpful.
sg4ever
clashof the coconuts
Join date: Jul 2006
421 IQ
#10
A Vox AC15 is worth checking out. They are a bit of a brighter, chimey, jangly amp. Jeff Beck has used (I think still using) AC30s, and although they are a bit different from an AC15, they are in that sort of ballpark. I second the Traynor suggestions. The Peavey Classic 30 might be a good one too. I don't know how the prices on them over there are, but they sound pretty decent for the price.
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Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
440 IQ
#11
Quote by WhatAStoryMark
To Dave, is the Traynor flexible? Because if so that sounds like a great shout and I'll definitely look into it. I will of course also look at the Fenders.


yeah i think so. i assume you mean "versatile"? it should be as long as you don't need modern metal tones, yeah.

and yeah vox cleans are nice but they're not fender cleans either. people who prefer voxy cleans will tell you vox cleans are better and people who prefer fender cleans will tell you fender cleans are better. it just depends on which you prefer.

and yeah, while in principle solid state is not really inherently inferior to valve... in practice most of the time it is.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#12
Quote by Dave_Mc
yeah i think so. i assume you mean "versatile"? it should be as long as you don't need modern metal tones, yeah.


That's exactly what I meant.

And a final point to anyone who is still with me (and thanks if you are) is on reverb. From what I understand having used Thomann and various other similar sites all of these amps have reverb, however, are they normally good? I understand that most of you won't have played all of these amps but any input is useful.
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
440 IQ
#13
depends on the amp, really. good-sounding spring reverb sounds awesome (assuming you like it, lol). the spring reverb on my genz benz black pearl is... horrible, lol (and it's valve-driven to boot, just goes to show you can't go by the specs all the time). the one on my engl (before it broke ) was very nice. It just depends on the amp, really. From what i can remember, the spring reverb on the traynor was good (or at least, i didn't notice anything particularly wrong with it), but I really can't remember much about it

the reverb on the ac30cc was really nice indeed. I haven't tried the newer ac30c2 so I dunno what it's like. the reverb on the fenders should be pretty good, i think. I don't remember much about the reverb on either the classic 30 or laney vc15 or 30 but again that probably means there wasn't anything particularly wrong with it (though by the same token it probably didn't blow me away either).

EDIT: i wouldn't worry too much about the reverb, in other words. I assume the reverb on all the ones you're looking at is decent, and even if it's not, you can just turn it off and run a pedal. it's not really a deal-brekaer... unless you had two amps you liked equally, and then maybe it might be, if you use reverb a lot. But in the real world very rarely do you have two amps you like equally, normally one amp is clearly better for what you want.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

Last edited by Dave_Mc at Feb 2, 2013,
WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#14
Thanks, Dave, you've been really helpful.

Hopefully I'll post back here in a couple of days/ a week with the results.
Volcz
VCA '18
Join date: Oct 2011
192 IQ
#15
Hahahah don't worry, as much as I love Vox amps I'm not bias towards them! They just nail my tone
Quote by greeny23
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Quote by Eppicurt
Quote by NakedInTheRain
hey, be nice to the hipster.
I hear they use false bypass switches.

It's, like, so ironic.
WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#16
Oh, and a final question, I've been looking at the Peavey 6505 and it looks like it has good specs. Is there a particular reason that none of you recommended it?
Tremolo Bum
Addicted to FR
Join date: Feb 2008
130 IQ
#17
It has terrible cleans.

Jackson RR3 Rhoads and DK2M Dinky
Peavey 6505+ w/ Avatar 212 cab
Ibanez TS9, ISP Decimator, MXR 10 Band EQ
-Digitech RP1000
ragingkitty
meow?
Join date: Jun 2008
190 IQ
#19
Quote by ihartfood
it is the epitome of metal amps and has a bad clean channel.


It has a useable clean channel. However, if you want a great clean channel, it should be the last option you look at.

Just to add on to the comments about Vox. Those aren't just known for their clean channels, their overdrive channel is pretty sweet as well. A lot of people get Vox amps for their voicing, you should give them a try to see if they have a tone you are seeking. The chime on a Vox amp is very unique, and rarely replicated on any other amp.

On the matter of reverb, many amps come with built in reverb... some are digital, some are spring. However, given that many amps have a FX loop, and that you can easily get awesome reverb pedals at just over a hundred dollars these days, a reverb should be a secondary consideration.

Get the amp that gives you a tone you love, because your amp will contribute significantly to your tone. Modulation can be considered later.

I use a Mesa MkV, but I find the built-in spring reverb too subtle for my liking, so I use an Eventide reverb to give me the sounds I want.
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Volcz
VCA '18
Join date: Oct 2011
192 IQ
#20
The AC30 and AC15's spring reverb IMO is as good, if not better than a Deluxe Reverb.
Don't hate me.
Quote by greeny23
i shake the walls of my bedroom. with mah dick.
Quote by Eppicurt
Quote by NakedInTheRain
hey, be nice to the hipster.
I hear they use false bypass switches.

It's, like, so ironic.
gerraguitar
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2011
70 IQ
#21
there's not much more to add on here, but i wanted to give fender some action on this post

i'm one of those guys mentioned earlier, i love me an ac30, but i've found my home in fender amps. i do think that a hot rod would be a great choice. i'm a huge jeff buckley fan, he started off with a roland jc120 then used a fender vibroverb reissue and then moved to a mesa (i believe it was a tremoverb). I like the cleans on the ac30 as well, it's really all with what you like better. if you look around hard enough you might be able to grab a silverface amp for within your budget or not too far over it, don't worry about what fender snobs say about silverface amps, they are still good.

as far as reverb, i think fender reverb is great and very useable. as with the vox reverb a well. if you're in a toss up between the two you will not make a bad choice
Fender Strat Deluxe
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Pedals

Quote by CaptainAmerican
I would recommend the marshal MG100

Very versatile and quality sound. It should treat you well
ironicallyindie
chill dude
Join date: Jan 2013
311 IQ
#22
Get a Vox Acwhatever or some fender hot rod/blues deluxe/deville/junior/twin reverb or something similar. Irrelevant question, but is your username a reference to a film called "the room"?
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
440 IQ
#23
Quote by WhatAStoryMark
Thanks, Dave, you've been really helpful.

Hopefully I'll post back here in a couple of days/ a week with the results.


no problem good luck

Quote by WhatAStoryMark
Oh, and a final question, I've been looking at the Peavey 6505 and it looks like it has good specs. Is there a particular reason that none of you recommended it?


yeah it's pretty much the benchmark modern metal super-high-gain tube amp. it's a nice amp, just totally not what you want.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#24
Quote by ironicallyindie
Irrelevant question, but is your username a reference to a film called "the room"?


Indeed it is, and what a great film it is too.

Right now I'm thinking I'll either get a blues junior or an AC15 but I have another question.

From what I understand both of those amps have 'upgrades' which improve the amps and I was just wondering how likely it is that I would later end up regretting not buying the upgraded version? My budget is not all that flexible but I don't have a dying urge to buy an amp right now (although the longer I think about it and the more shops I go to with amps to play the urge is growing). So I was thinking that I could, in theory, simply save up the money for an amp and buy it a couple of months down the line.

What do you all think? Or would the amp I'd be buying at this point be really good anyway?
Last edited by WhatAStoryMark at Feb 3, 2013,
WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#25
Quote by gerraguitar
don't worry about what fender snobs say about silverface amps, they are still good.


I'm really sorry but I have no idea what a silverface amp is? This will be the first amp I've ever actually bought and so I'm pretty new at all of this, although I do find it very interesting.

Thanks for your reply as well, it's really good to hear that they are both good options.
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
440 IQ
#26
silverface were the ones after fender was sold to cbs. late 60s into the 70s (i think).

whoich models of the ac15 and blues junior are you looking at? i'm not sure about upgrades, i think there are different versions of the blues junior with better speakers, though.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#27
Here are the links on a website I found. http://www.thomann.de/gb/vox_ac15_cc1.htm
And http://www.thomann.de/gb/fender_blues_junior_iii.htm
With a blues junior would it be accurate to assume that a blues deluxe reissue would be an improvement?

EDIT: I apologise for the ridiculous manner in which I phrased the opening line, I understand that it is a major website and I'm not claiming that I am the first finder.
Last edited by WhatAStoryMark at Feb 3, 2013,
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
440 IQ
#28
^ i'm not sure it's so much that it's better, it's that it's bigger and has more features. EDIT: lol no worries
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#29
That's good then, would those two versions be the best versions? I think they're the ones that I played.
red.guitar
Imagine All The People
Join date: Mar 2007
160 IQ
#31
^^ I havent played the Defender, but I own a 36' coupe.

The cleans on the coupe are amazing! Its modeled after a BF Bassman. The drive channel is good as well, it just takes a little tweaking, and an I highly recommed a speaker swap to a eminence c-rex.

Kustom amps put out a great product. Its a shame that they don't get more recognition.

I totally agree with Dave on the Traynors. They are great amp, built soild as hell. Fantastic cleans, and a good drive as well.

I think that you really what, if you can get your hands on it, is an older Traynor YBA. Basically a plexi that a cross between the Fender Bassman, and the Marshal JTM. I'm still holding out to find a good deal on one of these. Its prob a little out of your price range, and maybe a little harder to get it you area.
Guitars:
PRS Custom 24
Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
02' Dean TC Z

Amps:
EVH 5150iii
Peavey Ultra 112
Jet City JCA50H
Peavey VTM 60
Peavey XXX
66' Bassman
WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#32
Right...

Well that's complicated matters, in a good way, more options is always good.

Are Kustoms reasonably widely available? Because I've yet to see one in a music shop (although I only ever really go in to two and they sell very mainstream stuff) and to red.guitar, on the Traynor front how would you describe their cleans? I've not played one yet and have never heard one (to my knowledge). Are there any bands that play through Traynors?
red.guitar
Imagine All The People
Join date: Mar 2007
160 IQ
#33
IMO... Traynors have a very thick, lush clean tone. I my experience you've got to drive the amp pretty hard (and at lound levels) to get the cleans to breakup. But when they breakup, you get that pure rock n' roll od (think Angus Young).

They are great platform amps, meaning that they can take pledals very well. And like Dave mentioned, the drive channel is actually usuable.

The rhythm guitarist in an old band I was in used the YCS90 combo. Man was that a nice amp, and loud as hell! It had a fantastic drive channel, and sick cleans, like you would expect from a vintage traynor. Put it this way, if I seen a good deal pop up on the head version, I wouldnt even think twice about picking it up; but I'm happy enough with my JCA50H for now But its def a piece that will find its way into my amp collecetion, unless I can get my hands on it predecessor, the YBA!

I believe big sugar, and big wreck use traynors, atleast thats what their site says
Guitars:
PRS Custom 24
Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
02' Dean TC Z

Amps:
EVH 5150iii
Peavey Ultra 112
Jet City JCA50H
Peavey VTM 60
Peavey XXX
66' Bassman
Last edited by red.guitar at Feb 3, 2013,
WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#34
Quote by red.guitar
IMO... Traynors have a very thick, lush clean tone. I my experience you've got to drive the amp pretty hard (and at lound levels) to get the cleans to breakup. But when they breakup, you get that pure rock n' roll od (think Angus Young).

They are great platform amps, meaning that they can take pledals very well. And like Dave mentioned, the drive channel is actually usuable.

The rhythm guitarist in an old band I was in used the YCS90 combo. Man was that a nice amp, and loud as hell! It had a fantastic drive channel, and sick cleans, like you would expect from a vintage traynor. Put it this way, if I seen a good deal pop up on the head version, I wouldnt even think twice about picking it up; but I'm happy enough with my JCA50H for now But its def a piece that will find its way into my amp collecetion, unless I can get my hands on it predecessor, the YBA!

I believe big sugar, and big wreck use traynors, atleast thats what their site says


Thanks for taking the time to reply, that is incredibly helpful.

In your opinion is the one recommended by Dave (http://www.thomann.de/gb/traynor_ycv50b.htm) a solid choice for my situation?

Would it be able to accomplish a sufficiently Buckley-esque tone to please my ears?
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
440 IQ
#35
Quote by WhatAStoryMark
That's good then, would those two versions be the best versions? I think they're the ones that I played.


i think they're both the bog standard versions. that being said, i'm not sure paying extra for a speaker upgrade which might not be the upgrade you'd choose is maybe the best plan either (assuming a speaker upgrade is straightforward... it normally is, but some amps' chassis can be awkward shapes etc. which can complicate things).

fwiw i think the traynor ycv50b is the better amp... but whether it's better for what you want is the thing. it'll also have more headroom (though that can be a double-edged sword, depending on what you need).

the kustom coupe is very nice (i haven't tried the defender) but it's really dear over here for some reason. in the USA it's a good option for the price it goes for there. here it's like £800 or something silly and I'm not sure it's worth that (especially when the traynor is half the price and arguably no worse).
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#36
Quote by Dave_Mc
i think they're both the bog standard versions. that being said, i'm not sure paying extra for a speaker upgrade which might not be the upgrade you'd choose is maybe the best plan either (assuming a speaker upgrade is straightforward... it normally is, but some amps' chassis can be awkward shapes etc. which can complicate things).

fwiw i think the traynor ycv50b is the better amp... but whether it's better for what you want is the thing. it'll also have more headroom (though that can be a double-edged sword, depending on what you need).

the kustom coupe is very nice (i haven't tried the defender) but it's really dear over here for some reason. in the USA it's a good option for the price it goes for there. here it's like £800 or something silly and I'm not sure it's worth that (especially when the traynor is half the price and arguably no worse).


It seems to me then that my next step would be to play the Traynor and see how it feels to me.

Are they common in guitar shops?
red.guitar
Imagine All The People
Join date: Mar 2007
160 IQ
#37
Quote by WhatAStoryMark
It seems to me then that my next step would be to play the Traynor and see how it feels to me.

Are they common in guitar shops?


Another old bandmate of mine had some version of the ycv...

It was a great amp, and took pedals well. Like Dave said, it would probably have more headroom compared to the ycs... It all depends what you want.

Go try them and see!
Guitars:
PRS Custom 24
Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
02' Dean TC Z

Amps:
EVH 5150iii
Peavey Ultra 112
Jet City JCA50H
Peavey VTM 60
Peavey XXX
66' Bassman
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
440 IQ
#38
Quote by WhatAStoryMark
It seems to me then that my next step would be to play the Traynor and see how it feels to me.

Are they common in guitar shops?


nope, they don't have a distributor in the UK at the moment unfortunately. they used to have several years ago, so it's basically down to dumb luck, if any old dealers still have stock or if you happen to find one second-hand for sale in a local shop.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

kyle62
Need a dispenser here!
Join date: May 2007
190 IQ
#39
Quote by WhatAStoryMark
Are Kustoms reasonably widely available? Because I've yet to see one in a music shop (although I only ever really go in to two and they sell very mainstream stuff) and to red.guitar

Their beginner stuff is common but their better valve amps are pretty rare.

The Defender 50 got discontinued a while ago, I think. Thomann blew them out for something ridiculous like £250, I hugely regret not grabbing one.

Only place I can find that has them still in stock is this site: http://www.sounds4uentertainment.co.uk/kustom-defender-valve-amplifier-7496-p.asp. Judging by the dodgy graphic design they're not exactly fussy about their website, so it might simply be that they haven't got round to removing the page, but that's still a hell of an amp for that price.
WhatAStoryMark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
30 IQ
#40
Hello again everyone,

I just thought that I would add some further news, I am going to be buying the Traynor after some serious discussions with the man behind the counter in the guitar shop and reflection on the advice that I was given here.

But I would also like to look into buying a reverb pedal. Is there a particular thread or place that I should ask about this?
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