#1
Hi guys,

I'm totally done with playing with a transistor amp, and I'm now searching for a nice tubeamp with a warm and vintage tone (any suggestions?), but as we all know tubeamps go for a lower price at the used market than at the retailers. (that's probably because they're used? ) But anyway I've got a lot of experience in buying used guitars which is in my opinion great because those guitars are already used a lot so you know you're gonna stick with the way it plays and sounds over the next years because sometimes new guitars seem to be nicer at the retailer than when you've put your soul and energy to them at home and on stage. So my main question is: is this also suitable for amps? If those amps are used properly will they keep on doing their thing over the next years? I know there are a lot of people who bought an used amp and it worked great the following years and there are people who wasted their money on an used amp, and talking about used tubeamps I mean amps from a pricerange from 800 to 1500 bucks. But is the used tubeamps market trust worthy or not? Of course I'm not thinking of buying an amp that has been used like garbage but an amp that seems to be used in a good way. The reason why I'm so concerned about this is because I love vintage Marshalls (like the Jubilee and the JCM 800) but you have to buy those used these days!

Thank guys!
#2
There is really no yes or no answer to this question. It's pretty much the same as with buying anything used:

If the amp sounds/looks good and the PO knew what he was doing? Hell yeah, go for it!

If the amp sounds/looks like shit and the PO is an idiot? Hell no, walk away!

Just be sure to try it out first, and if you really want to know for sure, a trustworthy PO should have no problem with you getting it checked out by a tech. I have purchased nearly all my gear, every vehicle I have ever owned, and tons of other stuff used, private party. If you know what you're looking for, and what questions to ask, buying used is great. If you don't, you could get burned.
#3
The used market is great. Especially because you'll largely be able to get your money back.

If you can see it and play it then the only barrier to getting a good deal is your own experience. Bring someone with you if you can.

A good service can fix lots of issues either amps. They may well need new tubes but that wouldn't put me off.
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#4
Quote by ExDementia
There is really no yes or no answer to this question. It's pretty much the same as with buying anything used:

If the amp sounds/looks good and the PO knew what he was doing? Hell yeah, go for it!

If the amp sounds/looks like shit and the PO is an idiot? Hell no, walk away!

Just be sure to try it out first, and if you really want to know for sure, a trustworthy PO should have no problem with you getting it checked out by a tech. I have purchased nearly all my gear, every vehicle I have ever owned, and tons of other stuff used, private party. If you know what you're looking for, and what questions to ask, buying used is great. If you don't, you could get burned.

Don't know what PO is, but I agree with this. It's not always good or bad... Great deals are out there, but so are rip-offs. Buyer beware.
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#6
Quote by ExDementia
There is really no yes or no answer to this question. It's pretty much the same as with buying anything used:

If the amp sounds/looks good and the PO knew what he was doing? Hell yeah, go for it!

If the amp sounds/looks like shit and the PO is an idiot? Hell no, walk away!

Just be sure to try it out first, and if you really want to know for sure, a trustworthy PO should have no problem with you getting it checked out by a tech. I have purchased nearly all my gear, every vehicle I have ever owned, and tons of other stuff used, private party. If you know what you're looking for, and what questions to ask, buying used is great. If you don't, you could get burned.


You said exactly what I was thinking.
#7
Cost wise there is no reason not to buy used. Most amps ship with shoddy stock tubes so would need replacing anyway and often the previous owner will have retubed it for you, and many come with upgraded speakers too all for less than the new price of the amp.

Of course there are downsides though, scammers, dodgy/faulty kit, no warranty or returns policy (in general, if buying used from somewhere like GC there is)

But you should never buy a new amp without having played it, so just play it thoroughly before buying and you shouldn't have an issue.
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#8
Thanks for the great responses!

So I guess the best way for me of buying a good used tubeamp is getting over to the dealer and try every feature on, and if everything is working out fine I have a good change of doing a good deal? And maybe gain a little of knowledge on cicuits before I go so I could take a look at the circuit and the knobs to see if there really isn't any damage to it and it really works well? Because if so we could consider that the used market on gear is actually great if you really know what to look for right?

Thanks guys!
#9
Well; you're right. The used amplifier market is like a lot of other used markets: if you know what you want, and you know what to look for, and you are patient and you know how to strike a hard bargain, then you should do just fine.

You have to see it and play it. There is no substitute for wither one when you go used. That is the only way to determine that the thing is in good shape, and that it sounds good. You specifically mentioned a few old Marshall amps. A lot of Marshalls have seen hard use over the years, so you want to be careful before you buy. There are great deals out there, but you have to do your homework.

Good luck with your amplifier search!
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#11
They're nothing wrong with the used market. I got my Marshall Vintage Modern head for $950 (they go at least $1400 or so). The previous owner only used it for 2 hours tops and it was in perfect condition. It still has that "Initial Setup" sticker on the front of it.
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#12
All my tube amps were bought used. Never had a problem but also made sure I wasn't going to have a problem to start with by asking the right questions and if possible playing with the amp to satisfy myself.

Approach the tubes themselves as consumable items. The previous owners run them. Tubes wear down. Its a fact of life. I always replace the tubes when I buy used gear even if the seller says they recently did a retube. I keep the original tubes as temp backups, unless they are clearly stuffed.
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Last edited by Phoenix V at May 11, 2013,
#13
All the amps I've ever owned have been bought used and I'm yet to encounter any real issue at all! And +1 to what Pheonix V says about tubes, they should be considered consumables indeed!

OFF TOPIC: Hey ExDementia, just checked out your bands EP, nice work dude! Keep it up!
#14
do some research it always helps. I've bought several used tube amps over the years with few problems overall. chances are you"ll need new tubes but outside of that as long as every thing works then you should be good.
#16
Quote by NotTheMessiah30
All the amps I've ever owned have been bought used and I'm yet to encounter any real issue at all! And +1 to what Pheonix V says about tubes, they should be considered consumables indeed!

OFF TOPIC: Hey ExDementia, just checked out your bands EP, nice work dude! Keep it up!

Thanks man! Our album is free to download as well.
#17
Every used tube amp I've bought has needed new tubes within the first year of playing the amp. However I like replacing stock rebranded tubes anyway so I never took it as a negative thing.

You have a solid budget, more than what I had when I first wanted a tube amp. Even the lower end ones had a responsiveness and clarity that pooped all over my Valvetronix or Valvestate amps. I'll never go back, except for my a Vypyr Tube.
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