#1
Hi guys, I've been shopping around for a valve combo amp and it would be great if someone could give me a bit of advice or experience with a couple of amps.

I'm into rock/ metal but mainly Ozzy (with Randy Rhoads) and Megadeth.

So far I've looked at:

Marshall - DSL 40
Peavey - 6505 +
Engater - Rebel 30
Hughes and Kettner - Tubemeister 36
Orange - TH30
Blackstar - Club 40

Any different options would be appreciated.
#2
JCM800 1x12/2x12 combo
Splawn Street Rod
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
#3
First, fill THIS out.

The tubemeister is a killer amp, and is pretty versatlie.

I'm not a fan of the new DSL's. I find them to be very weak/fizzy.

Once you fill out the form, we can give you some better advice
Guitars:
PRS Custom 24
Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
MIJ Tele
MIA Strat

Amps:
Silver Jubilee 2525
Peavey Ultra 112
Jet City JCA50H
66' Bassman
Pink Paisley Princeton RV
74' Vibro Champ
#4
Ok here goes.

Budget - £600 ish

Genre - 80's Rock/ Metal. Favourite Guitarist is Randy Rhoads.

New or Used - Not fussed. I've just bought a Jackson RR5 second hand which is in amazing condition.

I don't gig but I'd like to have something that I could take to a practice room and have some proper volume.

I'm near Birmingham in the midlands.

Gear - Besides the Jackson, I'm currently playing a Schecter Omen-6 through a Blackstar HT-1, I've not got any pedals at the moment.

Hope this helps.
#5
JCM800 combo
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
#6
Quote by Robbgnarly
JCM800 combo


This or:

1. Tubemeister - sick little amp, pretty inexpensive, and would do what you want, no questions asked

2. Something from the Jet City JCA line. Great cheap amps, with a killer dirty tone, and a pretty good clean.

3. Krank 1980 jr. I havent played it myself, but it gets a lot of attention around here, and it sounds pretty damn good from the clips that I've heard.

I own the JCA50H, and I say it's a damn fine amp, especially considering the price.

I'm also looking at picking up the Tubemeister 18, or 36 head when I sell my Kustom coupe.

My bands producer works at a local long & mcquade. When I stopped by last time, he plugged me into the 18watt head with the 212 (v30's). I've got to say, that amp completly blew me away. After I finished rocking out, I looked up to see a group of metal heads forming a line behind me to try it out next
Guitars:
PRS Custom 24
Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
MIJ Tele
MIA Strat

Amps:
Silver Jubilee 2525
Peavey Ultra 112
Jet City JCA50H
66' Bassman
Pink Paisley Princeton RV
74' Vibro Champ
#7
the jet city heads are pretty killer value on thomann- hard to beat. they're a bit more modern-sounding than the hot rod marshall thing, but they're not a million miles away, either (lots of 80s tones were soldano).

laney gh50L and a decent cab would be worth a try, too, if you can find one cheap (keep an eye out, shops often have deals on them as the prices shot up not too long ago).

if it has to be a combo, the traynor ycv50b on thomann is hard to beat for the money.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#8
JCM800 is a bit loud for what you want, me thinks, but it can do what you want.

I like the traynor suggestion personally. Well built amp, pretty sure they have a v30 stock and a better clean channel than a jcm800 or a dsl.

Tubemeister can do what you want, but you'd definitely wanna try one first. There is just something a little off with them to me.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#9
Thanks for the suggestions so far. The JCM800 does seem to be quite powerful for what I need.

I'm definitely after a combo. I've just looked at the Traynor option. Quite cheap in comparison to the Hughes and Kettner.

Is the DSL range not that great? I've seen a few complaints about new Marshall products.
#10
The old JCM2000 DSL series is really nice, the new DSL series is mediocre
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
#11
Traynor is a great option.

Awesome sounding amps, very affordable, and tough as hell. If you're buying new, they come with the 5 year unconditional warrenty.

Oh, they're Canadian too
Guitars:
PRS Custom 24
Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
MIJ Tele
MIA Strat

Amps:
Silver Jubilee 2525
Peavey Ultra 112
Jet City JCA50H
66' Bassman
Pink Paisley Princeton RV
74' Vibro Champ
#12
Do the tubes in these different amps make a difference the sound I'd like to achieve? The tubemeister has 4 x el84, Traynor has x el34 and some have 6L6 tubes.

It seems the 'Big' brands aren't the only place to look for equipment.
#14
Quote by Viowithcrailtap
I've just found a used JCM2000 TSL601 for £450? Would this be worth a look?

You may like it, but not many like it here. I think the TSL is pretty nice, but that seems like a high price for a used one.
Dave or someone from the UK can tell you better though
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
#15
I've had a scout around and found a few JCM800's second hand but I'm a bit confused about the variations on them e.g. 4210, 4211 etc. I've watched some videos on them and they seem really powerful but people have also mentioned they changed the speakers to 65 celestion. Is that needed?

There's a 100w 212 going for £420 which doesn't seem like a bad price.
#16
^^ I'm not too well up on used prices, lol

Quote by Viowithcrailtap

I'm definitely after a combo. I've just looked at the Traynor option. Quite cheap in comparison to the Hughes and Kettner.


and the traynor is actually all-tube, which is nice, too (just to clarify- the reverb and loop are op-amp driven, but the signal path is all tube if you're not using those i.e. all the amplification and distortion are all-tube).

I dunno about the bigger tubemeisters, but i have my suspicions that the smaller ones have some solid state shenanigans going on. H&K has form with that, too (the edition tube had some SS stuff going on, and I think the statesman does, too).

Quote by Viowithcrailtap
Do the tubes in these different amps make a difference the sound I'd like to achieve? The tubemeister has 4 x el84, Traynor has x el34 and some have 6L6 tubes.

It seems the 'Big' brands aren't the only place to look for equipment.


the amount of the difference the power tubes make is often overstated- the circuit makes the tone and the tubes just sorta influence that a bit. For example a marshall-style circuit with 6L6es or 6v6es will sound more marshally than, say, a blackface fender-style circuit with el34s.

it'll also most likely make a bigger difference if you're cranking the thing.

that being said, if you want the marshall thing, el34s are probably the best option (assuming that goes hand-in-hand with a marshall-style circuit).

Quote by red.guitar
Traynor is a great option.

Awesome sounding amps, very affordable, and tough as hell. If you're buying new, they come with the 5 year unconditional warrenty.

Oh, they're Canadian too


I'm not sure that warranty applies outside canada (also i thought it was 2 year?).

But if you buy from thomann you get their 3 year warranty- granted if they go bust it's not worth the paper it's written on, but still, it's better than nothing, assuming they don't go bust, lol.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at May 27, 2013,
#17
I read that the Traynor come with a 2 year warranty, the main issue is being able to try one. I can't find anywhere that stocks any.

So I guess any amps with digital reverb means its solid state? (Sorry I'm just learning the tech side of amps).

I do prefer the el34/ 84 sound to the 6v6 sound. I think the laney iron heart and peavey 6505 come with 6V6 or 6L6 tubes. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Also, I'm guessing if I'm planning on using pedals an FX loop is gonna be needed?
#18
Quote by Viowithcrailtap
I read that the Traynor come with a 2 year warranty, the main issue is being able to try one. I can't find anywhere that stocks any.

So I guess any amps with digital reverb means its solid state? (Sorry I'm just learning the tech side of amps).

I do prefer the el34/ 84 sound to the 6v6 sound. I think the laney iron heart and peavey 6505 come with 6V6 or 6L6 tubes. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Also, I'm guessing if I'm planning on using pedals an FX loop is gonna be needed?

Some tube amps have digital reverb built in, that is not just a SS amp thing any more
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
#19
Quote by Viowithcrailtap
Also, I'm guessing if I'm planning on using pedals an FX loop is gonna be needed?


It depends on which pedals you want to use.
#20
Quote by Viowithcrailtap
(a) I read that the Traynor come with a 2 year warranty, the main issue is being able to try one. I can't find anywhere that stocks any.

(b) So I guess any amps with digital reverb means its solid state? (Sorry I'm just learning the tech side of amps).

(c) I do prefer the el34/ 84 sound to the 6v6 sound. I think the laney iron heart and peavey 6505 come with 6V6 or 6L6 tubes. Correct me if I'm wrong.

(d) Also, I'm guessing if I'm planning on using pedals an FX loop is gonna be needed?


(a) you'll get thomann's 3 year warranty if you buy there... and you'll be very lucky if you find one to try. currently i think thomann is one of the only shops in europe which stocks them. If you're very lucky you might find a second-hand one in a shop here, or find a shop that used to be a dealer when traynor did have a UK distributor which still has stock. But I'm guessing that's gonna involve some luck.

Then you're into the problem of whether you should buy something which you suspect might be perfect which you can't try, or buy something not as good which you can try.

(b) nope, as robb gnarly said, some tube amps now have digital reverb. Plus that's not the same as solid state driven reverb- when i said that (in regards to the traynor), i meant spring reverb but which is driven by op-amps (rather than valves).

(c) yeah i think so. as i said, the tone's not only in the power tubes. but yeah if you want to nail the marshall thing it doesn't hurt having the right ones (as i said, assuming the rest of the circuit is marshally, which it might not necessarily be).

(d) depends on which pedals. things like overdrive/distortion/fuzz/wah/compression/boost want to be in front of the amp.

chorus, phaser and flanger you have the choice, for certain tones they sound better in the loop, for other tones they sound better in front of the amp.

generally delay and reverb you want in the loop.

All that assumes you're getting at least some preamp distortion from the amp. if you're running the amp clean (or running the amp so that the power tubes are distorting, i.e. loud) then the loop won't really do anything much.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#22
Ah ok, I was mainly looking at a wah and overdrive pedal to use. Nothing too fancy. So if I buy an amp with reverb built in the FX loop won't really be needed?

Also I've seen a few people saying that JCM800 with vertical input are more popular, why is that?

Can a JCM800 have built in reverb and if so will be valve driven not digital?

I think I'm in a tough position in regards to the Traynor amps. I can't rely on YouTube reviews as there's variables like guitar, player etc to get the sound. It's a shame cause they seem a really good purchase.

This maybe a stupid question but I'm guessing a 2 x 12 100w JCM800 will be a bit too loud?
#23
anything over like 1 watt will be too loud in a home environment if you want to crank it, lol. i'd worry more about getting something which sounds good at the volumes you normally play at, which isn't always related to wattage (if you're talking about whisper home volume, anyway).

I'm not too well up on 800s. Cathbard around here knows a fair bit about them, i'll see if i can get him to check out this thread, if he's around.

and yeah if the amp has built-in reverb normally that comes (more or less) where an fx loop would be on an amp, so assuming you like the amp's reverb (and you don't use delay) then you wouldn't really need a loop. OD and wah would go out front, so yeah, you'd be good to go.

EDIT: and yeah it is a dilemma regarding stuff you can't try. I always seem to be in that position, too.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at May 27, 2013,
#24
I'm not really bothered for reverb to be totally honest. I bought the HT-1 instead of the HT-1R and I don't feel like I'm missing anything. It just seems to be something people use with a nice clean from some stuff I've seen.

I've got my 1 watt for practicing at home and my neighbours are never home (which is a bonus!), I'd just like to get something proper that I could take to a rehearsal room and give it some volume. The Marshall sound is my favourite sound and a lot of people have said to go for an old Marshall as the quality these days in the new stuff isn't as good as the older gear.

I've got a few friends that I'd eventually wanna jam with so I'm looking for a good size amp that I don't have max out to be able to hear. Some amps I've heard seem to go a bit downhill when maxed.

And considering the price of some the new 20 - 40w combos out there a used but well treated Marshall could be a real bargain.
#26
Ah right. They seem to be quite few and far between.

Some people have tried to do a comparison on the 800 and 900.

Is there a big difference?
#27
The dual channel ones 2205/2210 had a reverb but they aren't anywhere near as good as the single channel 2203/2204 and the vertical input 2203/2204 ones are the best of the lot.
The JCM800 was the beginning of effects loops. That's because it was during the 80's that people started using studio rack gear and they needed line level to drive them. So you can always stick a reverb in the loop. The 2205/2210 had a reverb and is indicative of the whole problem - more features but lesser sound.
The 2205/2210 are popular with modders though because doesn't take that much effort to turn them into a mighty fine amp. They marked Marshall's abortionary attempt at solid state diode clipping. They persisted with them in the JCM900 and mercifully dumped the idea after that. The JCM900 SL/X was their attempt at restoring their reputation when they removed the op-amps and diodes preceeding V1.

Which brings us to the JCM900.
There were three types of JCM900 - the Mk3, The Dual Reverb and the SL/X.

The Mk3 is a bit of an oddity. It is similar to a JCM800 and has the same clipper circuit as the dual channel JCM800 but was only one channel (with two master volumes). It is also a popular modder's amp because all you need to do really is pull out the clipper and they are quite a decent amp.

The Dual Reverb is the ugliest of all flagship Marshalls. It almost destroyed Marshall's reputation by doing what Blackstar would do a couple of decades later. ie market it as a valve amp when it was in fact a hybrid. This was the days before the internet so people didn't find out what was wrong with their Marshalls until they opened them up to bias them after the tubes wore out. They had Teslas and Ei tubes so it was a few years before the truth finally came out and everybody discovered why their flash new Marshall sounded so fizzy.
Modding them can however fix the vast majority of their problems. Again, the main problem was that shitful clipper circuit that they introduced in the JCM800 2210. Once removed the Dual Reverb is actually quite a decent sounding amp, I use one myself. They can be turned into what is essentially a clean boosted JCM800.

The SL/X replaced all the op-amps preceding V1 with a 12AX7 tube. They are a ball tearer of an amp. Single channel with two op-amp driven master volumes like the Mk3 - but what a channel. Possibly the best sounding high gain amp they ever made. From the ashes rose a phoenix. Highly sought after and with good reason. For modern punk, unless you go the Mesa route, it's hard to beat an SL/X.

Hope that answers your Marshall questions.
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Last edited by Cathbard at May 27, 2013,
#28
Wow ok.

I've seen a couple of 2204 (50w 1 x 12 I think) on ebay etc and they're going for around £700. So I think going down the Marshall route may not be ideal as like you say those are highly rated which may explain why there's different 800s going for around £500. And if they require a bit of tinkering that's out of my league, for now anyway.

So the 900 sl/x is the 'true' amp of the 900 range?

Are the model number like 4211, 4210 in relation to the 2203, 2204 etc?
#29
thanks cath
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#30
get rid of the egnater and the tubmeister.

the egnater is far too low gain for what you want

the HK is also too low gain, and the boosted channel sounds a bit shrill and solid state. you dont want to buy an amp just to play on the 3rd boosted channel, which is whats going to happen.

blackstar will acomodate fine with its semi modeling qualities.

the orange will be kick butt, cause they always are...very loud, lots of gain. its an orange. not the mot versatile. most oranges are not....its an orange. enough said.

peavey - do i need to explain this one? the heavier the better, the less gain the worst.

personally i think the DSL 40 is premo for what you want. DSLs have s ton of gain and are fairly versatile....rock / classic metal machines.
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#31
Ok, I think the Marshall option is going to be a tough one to call.

Is it a big deal if I didn't get a 2203 or 2204 JCM800? Will the other JCM800 models be a better purchase instead of the new DSL40? At £570 its still a fair bit of money to spend so I want to spend it well.

Is there a Mesa option? Any good second hand Mesa Boogie amps i should look out for?
#32
Quote by Viowithcrailtap
Ok, I think the Marshall option is going to be a tough one to call.

Is it a big deal if I didn't get a 2203 or 2204 JCM800? Will the other JCM800 models be a better purchase instead of the new DSL40? At £570 its still a fair bit of money to spend so I want to spend it well.

Is there a Mesa option? Any good second hand Mesa Boogie amps i should look out for?

Yes any JCM 800 will kick a new DSL40c's ass and then some. The 2203/2204 are just the more sought after models, they all sound like 800's. If versatility is your thing, look at the old JCM2000 series, much better than the JVM's IMO
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
#33
I've looked into the JCM2000 range (DSL401). It looks ok and is relatively cheap but apparently there is an issue of over heating. Has anyone else had this problem?

I can't quite see the need for 2 gain channels on the DSL401 though. I've watched a few videos of them and there wasn't too much of a difference (it's the same with the new DSL40 too).

I might just try and hunt down a 50w 1 x 12" JCM800 as they really do sound amazing. This will be my first proper amp and I'm not that fussed for the vertical input "true" JCM800 at the moment.

Although the JCM900 is also very nice. Are there any new marshall amps that are good or is it really just a case of get an older one as the new ones are made cheaper etc?
#34
another option if you're not able to get an 800 is a laney gh50/100L. they're (as far as i'm aware- cathbard will be able to confirm) more or less hotrodded 800s with an extra footswitchable gain stage. or there's the vh100r, which is (again, hopefully cath can confirm) the GH with an extra clean/crunch channel.

they're a lot dearer than they used to be, unfortunately, but sometimes you can still get a good deal on them if a shop has old stock from before the prices rose, or if they're just looking to shift stock. I think they're good value used, too.

Just another option.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#35
Quote by Viowithcrailtap
I've looked into the JCM2000 range (DSL401). It looks ok and is relatively cheap but apparently there is an issue of over heating. Has anyone else had this problem?

I can't quite see the need for 2 gain channels on the DSL401 though. I've watched a few videos of them and there wasn't too much of a difference (it's the same with the new DSL40 too).

I might just try and hunt down a 50w 1 x 12" JCM800 as they really do sound amazing. This will be my first proper amp and I'm not that fussed for the vertical input "true" JCM800 at the moment.

Although the JCM900 is also very nice. Are there any new marshall amps that are good or is it really just a case of get an older one as the new ones are made cheaper etc?


Never had mine overheat.

Coincidentally I'm selling a JCM2000 DSL201 combo that'd sit right at the bottom end of your budget...
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#36
Quote by SimplyBen
Never had mine overheat.

Coincidentally I'm selling a JCM2000 DSL201 combo that'd sit right at the bottom end of your budget...


I might take you up on that.
#37
Would a Marshall Class 5 be worth a look? I know they're smaller wattage but I just wanted an opinion on them.
#38
Quote by Viowithcrailtap
I might take you up on that.


Drop me a message man

Class 5 isn't gainy enough for your genres.
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