Hi all,

I am looking for a new amp and hoping you can help!

A little background, I still consider myself to be a "light hobbiest" in this space. I'll be playing an Epiphone Les Paul Standard. I haven't played a super long time, so I'm not real good, but I really would like an upgrade in sound. I have a Line 6 Spider II 75W amp, and really I've never been too happy with it. Half the "sounds" sound like garbage, and the other half are really poor gimmicky emulations of real guitar hotness.

So what am I looking for? Sigh.. I dunno. I'm not knowledgeable enough to describe it well, but I'll try with a few bullets:

  • I only play at home, and only plan to ever play at home. Ear-bleeding sound isn't required, nor desired.
  • I like to play a variety of stuff, but I really appreciate the classic rock and 90's rock sounds. Some of my favorite solos would probably be the one from "We Will Rock You," or "Yellow Ledbetter" .. just off the top of my head.
  • I'd prefer to buy new, and keep it to $300 if that's possible.
  • I hunted around some local stores but supply seems dreary right now. I stumbled onto this Marshall Classic 5 amp, and when I cranked it, I liked it. I can't describe it, but it had that punch when I hit the notes. Not like a crazy distortion, but a popping punch. That is the sound I want.
    -- Unfortunately, this amp was apparently discontinued a while back, and required you to play at ear-bleeding volumes to get that sound.

So what does that mean? Does that mean I'm after what people call "classic Marshall sound?" I guess I don't even really know what that means.

Anyways, looking forward to any tips! Thanks!
Welcome to GGnA and nice OP

I'm guessing you are digging that classic Marshall sound

Based on what you are into a Marshall amp is a good choice. There are other amps out there of course and most of Queen's stuff was recorded on a Vox, for example. Vox's will have a different tone but they are still considered 'British tone' like the Marshall's are so that is the tone you are after.

That classic Marshall or British tone is characterized by a lot of mids (mid range frequencies) and a lot of crunch. That is what is hitting you in the chest. They are also great in a live situation because the mid frequencies punch through the rest of the instruments. Keep in mind, electric guitar is a mid frequency instrument. By way of contrast, 'American tone' is characterized by lots of low and high frequencies and often have really good cleans (think Mesa and Fender).

Neither is 'better' it is just preference. I love a mid honk and crunch so marshally based amps are my favorite. Marshall (and Vox) were pretty much the go to amps for Classic Rock. Well, lets just say that a boat load of Classic Rock songs were recorded with British based amps.

Someone else feel free to jump in here and add onto this.

Are you sure what you found was a Classic 5, because there is a current amp out there called a Class 5 that is pretty ballin'. I really like it. It is a tad out of your budget but you could probably find a used one. The second run version of these are much better than the original.

You might be a bit hard pressed to find what you are looking for NEW for $300. I'll have to think about that for a bit. You may want to check out a Vox AC4VT. It is a little 4 watter that has great tone and crunch - not much for cleans. Also maybe look at a Epiphone Valve Sr, Fender SuperChamp, Vox VT modeling amps, Peavey Vypyr modeling amps, Ibanez TA5, Fender Mustang modeling amp, Blackstar HT5, etc etc.

Give me your location and I bet I can find a killer used amp for you.

Good luck
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Apr 26, 2013,
Like 311 said, it might be hard to go new for 300 and get the amp you are after. Used market is great. Good first post by the way, very informative. If you are playing a line 6 currently then upgrading to a tube, maybe even a hybrid will sound better.

Ideas (if your after the Marshall-y sound)
Marshall DSL 401 combo, might be really hard to find for 300, but I have seen them on my local craigslist for that, if youre patient.
Blackstar ht5-20- I had the 20 combo, it was a good amp, but I got tired if it very fast, and at high volumes it sounded fizzy.
Peavey Classic 30-great amp all around, can suffer from a tube rattle here and there, but there are tube tamers for that.
I'm sure I'll think of more. If you can go more cash-wise it would help you out, maybe selling the line 6?
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Mesa DR Tremoverb combo 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
OP-where do you live? That will help us help you find an amp for you in your budget.
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.
Yes, I meant Class 5. Not classic.

I'm in the southeastern Michigan area. Metro Detroit I guess you could say.

Saw a used class 5 today actually at a local store, but it was the first generation, so I wasn't too excited.

You're not to far away from me.

http://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/msg/3768911932.html Fender Blues jr. might need a pedal to go with it.
http://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/msg/3705916102.html Vox AC15, might need to save a little more.

http://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/msg/3757723599.html Vox AC4, will need pedals, but great tube amp for the price.

http://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/msg/3767393151.html Vypyr Tube

http://annarbor.craigslist.org/msg/3754276229.html Blackstar HT5 Combo

http://sandusky.craigslist.org/msg/3720390860.html Blackstar HT20 Combo
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Mesa DR Tremoverb combo 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
There are plenty of Class 5 combos used on www.guitarcenter.com/usedgear for <$300
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check them out.
I actually found a guitar shop about a 1/2 hour from here that had a pretty large selection of used amps, so I got to fiddle with some of those.

bobafettacheese - if you're close, I imagine you're more knowledgeable of 'good places to go' to check out new and used equipment. Any suggestions? I'm more on the west side, for what it's worth.