#1
Budget: not really sure yet. i'd rather not spend more than 2 thousand but i understand i'll probably go over that

Genres: I play guitar in a reggae/ska band, so I need some nice cleans. I also like swing, blues, and funk. A great blues tone would be nice. I play metal(everything from thrash to the newer stuff with the djent sound)

With that being said, I like a big crunchy guitar tone for rhythm distortion, a nice rounded solo tone that responds well but can get dirty (i find some amps really bring out my playing style and respond to my picking more than others)

tl;dr: Need Great cleans, great rhythm distortion, and nice blues tone. Not too worried about lead considering I can use some type of OD pedal or even a tube screamer

I'd be fine with used gear. Much cheaper too.

I gig right now, but in about a year I'm going to be a premedical student, so I probably won't gig for a while after that, which is why I'm leaning towards a smaller amp

Closest city: I'm from central NJ so NYC is only about an hour away

Current gear: I mainly use my mexican '62 fender reissue with texas specials for gigging. I've got an ibanez and a jackson dk2 dinky.

I've tried lots of amps/combinations. I really like a fender/vox clean though, and can't find anything even close. Closest thing I found was an orange cab, but for reggae/ska nothing sounded right.
Tried everything from Mesa Mark V to the Rectifiers to Peavey to Orange to Vox and can't figure it out.

I think the hardest part will find an amp with a good clean tone. I was looking at the Mark V since I know it's pretty versatile, but only tried it with the cab with V30 speakers due to ohm issues. I really wanted to hear it through an orange.

Combo amp wouldn't be a horrible idea considering it would be cheaper, I can still gig with it, and it would work as a bedroom amp in the future. I feel like it's not as versatile as a half stack though

tl:dr Need a versatile amp that can play styles listed above.
Last edited by dsomma93 at May 30, 2013,
#2
If your a Fender fan, a Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb is a good choice for a tube amp. Price is about $1,000 - $1,500. You can also try the Fender '65 Twin Reverb, price is $1,500 - $2,000. These are very good tube amps, and for the genres you have mentioned, this will really do the job, as this is more of a vintage sounding amps. You'll get the very classic Fender tone with these amps, and these amps produce a very good clean tone like what you've said. I don't know if this fit for metal, but I think it will, just try the amps when you're on the shop, or use some distortion pedals like Boss MT-2 Metal Zone or Boss ML-2 Metal Core. Otherwise, these amps are great for ska, jazz, swing, blues, funk and other vintage genres that originated from 1950's up to 1980's.
#3
Mesa Mark V. Seriously, your post is screaming Mark V.
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#4
Fender has two real cool NEW amps:
1) '65 Twin Reverb 2x12
2) '65 Super Reverb 4x10

Both outstanding amps.
Both are sold brand new and/or there are used ones for sale.
They come close the vintage originals, but who really cares
with all of the pedals in the world.

Very nice highs & cleans, and can get real crunchy.
Also, Fender is famous for their spring reverb units.
#5
I'd go with an Axe-FX 2, with that budget and those requirements, to be honest. If you like the idea of the Axe-FX, of course.
#6
Quote by mightycornholio
If your a Fender fan, a Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb is a good choice for a tube amp. Price is about $1,000 - $1,500. You can also try the Fender '65 Twin Reverb, price is $1,500 - $2,000. These are very good tube amps, and for the genres you have mentioned, this will really do the job, as this is more of a vintage sounding amps. You'll get the very classic Fender tone with these amps, and these amps produce a very good clean tone like what you've said. I don't know if this fit for metal, but I think it will, just try the amps when you're on the shop, or use some distortion pedals like Boss MT-2 Metal Zone or Boss ML-2 Metal Core. Otherwise, these amps are great for ska, jazz, swing, blues, funk and other vintage genres that originated from 1950's up to 1980's.

Quote by Toppscore
Fender has two real cool NEW amps:
1) '65 Twin Reverb 2x12
2) '65 Super Reverb 4x10

Both outstanding amps.
Both are sold brand new and/or there are used ones for sale.
They come close the vintage originals, but who really cares
with all of the pedals in the world.

Very nice highs & cleans, and can get real crunchy.
Also, Fender is famous for their spring reverb units.

Both of these suggestions would be just plain awful for metal.

TS, agreed on the MKV.
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#7
I'm going to plug the Mesa Boogie Mark V as well. It can do all of those things well.
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#8
Mark V
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#9
Thanks for all the replies. I'm thinking the Mark V as well.

What about the Mark V combo? I feel as if a Mark V head with a cab somewhere like an orange would sound great.
SO...
Let's say I go with the head and cab.
What cab would you all recommend if I get it?

With the head, the problem is matching the ohms. Mark V head has 4 and 8. Would it be bad for me to put it into a 16 ohm orange? Not sure how much the tone would be reduced.
Tried a Mark V with a mesa cab loaded with V30's and wasn't too impressed. Didn't play with it too long though I'll have to hear it again

I'd really love a fender but unfortunately I need something more versatile as of right now.
#10
You should be able to rewire the cab to 4 ohm.

It takes a while to learn how to dial in a Mark V.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
Last edited by Cathbard at May 31, 2013,
#12
Quote by dsomma93
Thanks for all the replies. I'm thinking the Mark V as well.

What about the Mark V combo? I feel as if a Mark V head with a cab somewhere like an orange would sound great.
SO...
Let's say I go with the head and cab.
What cab would you all recommend if I get it?

With the head, the problem is matching the ohms. Mark V head has 4 and 8. Would it be bad for me to put it into a 16 ohm orange? Not sure how much the tone would be reduced.
Tried a Mark V with a mesa cab loaded with V30's and wasn't too impressed. Didn't play with it too long though I'll have to hear it again

I'd really love a fender but unfortunately I need something more versatile as of right now.


I would look at fryette/VHT. I like my sig:x. I have a mkiv too, but for me i prefer the cleans by far but they are both excellent amps.

I dont have a ton of experience with the mkv though. Mesa mark amps are known to be a tweaker amps.
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#13
At that budget I would see if I would go with a Hughes & Kettner Triamp. Both MK1 and MK2 are amazing and way more versatile than anything else (except Axe FX 2) mentioned in this thread! An MK1 should not cost more than around 1000 bucks used. They usually go between 700-1000 US bucks, I just bought one myself and goddammit does it sound amazing! It has a Fender clean, a Vox clean (would I call it, others call it Fender dirty) JCM 800, Plexi, Hotrodded Marshall and a Boogie/Soldano sound.

It is basicly 3 amps in one chassis with 3 chanels and an A/B chanel on each chanel, so it works basicly like a 6 chanel amp. Only little bad side about this is that both the A and B sides share there EQs for each individual chanel. It has a nice reverb as well, but it sadly isn't footswitchable. It also has a red DY box out if you want that, and is MIDI compatible. You can't get anything better at that price, and that amp is the meaning of versatile
#14
Quote by Cathbard
It takes a while to learn how to dial in a Mark V.


Uh... no.... it takes QUITE a long while.

While the MkV is a great amp, be prepared to twiddle knobs and flicking switches for a few weeks.
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#15
Fair enough, I'll bow to your superior knowledge. The Mk3 is the last one I know well. Mark V's are as rare as hen's teeth over here. They're so expensive here that they fit into the "if I won the lottery" basket.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#16
Quote by Cathbard
Fair enough, I'll bow to your superior knowledge. The Mk3 is the last one I know well. Mark V's are as rare as hen's teeth over here. They're so expensive here that they fit into the "if I won the lottery" basket.




No... it's not really like I'm that much more knowledgeable.

Most people really underestimate the range of sounds you can get out of the MkV, and the amount of time needed to get the sound.

Maybe its just me, but after testing a whole lotta amps, I find that while the MkV isn't overly sensitive to tube changes, it's still plenty sensitive to it.

I wasn't particularly stoked about the sounds I got from my MkV when I first got it. After a couple of weeks of tweaking, I liked it better. Changed my cab from two 112s to a single PRS SE 212, I liked it even more. Threw in some tubes with characteristics I liked (tight bass, good note definition and clarity, clearer highs) and it just sounds great.

I've had amps where you get a few sounds out of it... great sounding, but not stellar. In contrast with my MkV, I'm really digging it. It may not be for everyone... but for those that are willing to spend time twiddling with the knobs, it can sound great.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at May 31, 2013,
#17
I thought the Orange cabs had V30s? I'm pretty certain the 2x12s do.
But Mark V, or go digital.
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#18
I was in your shoes a few years ago, I decided to go with the Mark V.

As an owner myself, here are a few things to consider:

The Mark V isn't as hard to dial in as people make it. As long as you read the manual it's not that bad. The Boogie Board has a whole thread of user settings. I have stolen quite a few from there myself.

Just also realize that the Mark is never going to nail those classic Marshall tones. I can get it to sound kind of like a Marshall, but it's always going to have it's own Mesa twist on it. I think this is another main reason why some people hate the amp.

Get the head instead of the combo. The combo weights around 70 pounds and can sound boxy when I'm playing hard rock/metal rhythm work (thankfully I don't play any of those styles anymore).

But overall, it is a damn nice amp.