Hi, i just had a question in regards to what gear to use.

I currently have a PRS standard and a Marshall valvestate 2000 (100W) that i use. I play mostly clean rhythm guitar, with a strong emphasis on bass tone, as there isn't a bass player in my band - a keyboardist instead. This combination gets a pretty good sound. But when i want to add just a tad bit of crunch/distortion to my sound the Overdrive channel on my Marshall is limited to say the least. I have read that the Marshall valvestate is a tube amp in clean, but not in overdrive state. Is this true?

I'm debating whether to get a tube-driven distortion pedal (if there's such a thing) to kick in with my clean channel when i want the 'balls' to my sound - making it an easy addition to my setup… OR i considered departing with some money and investing in an all tube setup eg. Twin Reverb or Deluxe Reverb

Can someone please give their honest opinion as to their best way of attack. I guess the sound i want is more important than the money i will outlay so it's why i'm thinking a Fender amp (or another tube amp?) is the way to go.
I've also been debating if a Fender strat or the like, might be a better substitute for my PRS?

The sound i'm searching for is kinda found with John Frusciante, Pearl Jam, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, etc…

A lot of thanks in advance!!

A tube distortion may sound nice but ultimately it's not going to really improve your sound at high volumes unless the amp has a tube power amp.

"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
I think you should depart with some money and invest in an all tube setup, for example a Fender Twin Reverb or Deluxe Reverb. Take your own advice, one of those amps would be a big upgrade for your clean sounds aswell as providing you with the gain sounds you desire.

You're going to struggle to find the sound you want in a pedal I think, the valvestate is only a very basic gimmic of using 1 ECC83 in the preamp, the poweramp being completely solid state and the sounds you're looking for are typical of an amp with a valve poweramp.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
TBH, if you use mostly cleans I would avoid a tube amp (prepares to be flamed). You'll not get that

I'd buy myself a vintage Peavey solid state amp from the 80's/90's & a ProCo Rat or Marshall Shredmaster.
Quote by AndyGray
TBH, if you use mostly cleans I would avoid a tube amp (prepares to be flamed). You'll not get that

I'd buy myself a vintage Peavey solid state amp from the 80's/90's & a ProCo Rat or Marshall Shredmaster.

You're definitely asking to be flamed, I'm not going to flame you but the Fender clean sound is in my opinion second to none, I've heard some 80s Peavey SS amps (they have them at the jam nights in my home town) and they sound bloody aweful to my ears, they also have an old Fender valve amp combo there (tweed perhaps), and it sounds absolutely amazing.

For cleans I think the Fender Twin Reverb or Deluxe Reverb are what he should be looking at, I also like the sound of the VOX AC30 cleans personally, those amps will make an 80s SS Peavey sound like turd for clean, aswell as giving him the gain tones he wants.

Just my opinion, if he was going to go 80s solid state he may aswell stick with his valvestate.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
well...roland JC clean? thats a different story. then yes. clean deosnt have to be 100% no clipping at all. perhaps some people like slight breakup to a clean tone.

in my opinion our ears like to hear a little breakup, even if ever so slightly.

i think most would agree even then a tube amp run clean will in general give a better clean tone than most SS amps....especially a cheap model. for example, Dr. Z amps are going to be clean especially ones with no gain knob and decent wattage unless you crank them. great sounding amps.
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TS, you need another amp my friend.

Give us these:

Budget: how much, what currency
Location: Closest big city just to base prices off of

I am pretty sure you gave us everything else!
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
I think you'll be way more happy with a dual reverb. Those valvestates get lost in the live room and just sound shrill and not great in my opinion. but fill out the amp form thing the guy above my posted.
Peavey 6505+
Fender Hot Rod Deville 410
Fender Telecaster Blacktop
Gretsch G5120
Mostly clean?
Sometimes Slightly overdriven?

Sounds live you need a Hot Rod Deluxe (or Deville, depending on the want and means)

P.S. If you do get the Fender strat, could you send the PRS my way? I'll pay for the shipping
My Name is Cameron.
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Last edited by Maineguitarist at Apr 23, 2013,
i would look for a black face (if you can find one at the right price) or silver face Twin or some variant or a bassman.

i have a 1968 bassman and it gets nice solid cleans.

one thing to look at as well (that many people seem to forget about) is Music Man. i have a HD212 130W. hybrid preamp, tube poweramp, mine was one of the earlier and IIRC rarer as well that has a tube phase inverter but most are SS PI's. they are still extremely dynamic, they take pedals excellently. extremely pristine cleans and very bassy. i use that over my bassman.
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