#1
So I as in my signature, I have been running a JCM-800 for a while, along with a custom Epiphone SG-400 (an APH-1 Pearly Gates in the neck; Manson MBK-1 in bridge). I lived in North Carolina, but moved up to school in New York.

I've been trying to get back into serious gigging. (Playing music makes me very happy, and I've not been doing enough of that...) And my school has a very good music program that I can take in addition to my core classes, and I've been getting up with some musicians whom want to start a project next year. That, in combination with my own car up there has made me do some thinking:

Anyways, my half stack is not a feasible piece of equipment for me right now. Plus, my cabinet has never been very good (an Ibanez TSX 4x12).

Additionally, while I love my JCM-800, it's gain is more than I realize I need. As college often does to many things, I reconsidered what I wanted to do with guitar and what my playing style/tone should sound like.

So I bought a Blackstar HT-1 a couple of days after I came home for summer, and fell back in love with driving my power tubes at full level (something I could only do on very rare occasions with my Marshall). Made me realize that so much of the tone I hear in my head comes from power tube crunch, so much less from preamp gain.

Yesterday, I went out to a local used shop and found a FENDER HOT ROD DELUXE (it's a fairly new one, definitely from mid-2000s onwards—made in Mexico) and the dude told me he'd give it to me for $150 down, $350 later. So $450 + tax



My ideal tone these days would be something like this: Mac Demarco jingly cleans; the ability to throw effects in front of my amp and have the result be something like Deerhunter ; The Strokes crunch and sizzle (with their poppy cleans when need be); dunno if y'all are familiar with a band called DIIV but they're another clean/chorusy/delay type indie-project out of Brooklyn.

Other influences include the funkyness of Muse, little bit of hard rock background (so some blues swagger), Bloc Party, math rocky rhythms. But I still need an ability to get a little crazy for wall-of-noise type of effects (like using my Zvex Fuzz Factory).

Frankly, the days of ultra-gain (or even intense gain in any shape) are behind me. If need be, I have a JCM-800 I could always throw back in my line.

Anyways, for $450 does that sound like an amp that could do all this? This would be a gigging amp to replace my JCM-800. I'd play small clubs and stuff in places like Deep Brooklyn, Yonkers, Bronx, etc. 40W should be plenty enough power for that.
GEAR
Epiphone SG-400
Marshall 1987 JCM-800 2210 100W

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#2
Sounds perfect for you. If most of your dirt is from pedals, then you'll be fine. I think it's a great choice for people that need equally good cleans and distortion for a low price. The OD channel on this amp is absolutely terrible, so you can ignore that unless it's your flavor of fuzz, but the cranked sound on the clean channel is pretty heavenly.

The amp is super loud, but it's possible to play at bedroom levels if you're patient with the volume knob. It's notortiously touchy, and you can either get used to making small adjustments or just replace the pot. The amp's volume peaks at about 4 on the knob (and from there basically only increases in saturation) but it's 40W rating does not mean it will be quiet when cranked.
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Last edited by bassmastamitch at Jun 2, 2013,
#3
Quote by bassmastamitch
Sounds perfect for you. If most of your dirt is from pedals, then you'll be fine. I think it's a great choice for people that need equally good cleans and distortion for a low price. The OD channel on this amp is absolutely terrible, so you can ignore that unless it's your flavor of fuzz, but the cranked sound on the clean channel is pretty heavenly.

The amp is super loud, but it's possible to play at bedroom levels if you're patient with the volume knob. It's notortiously touchy, and you can either get used to making small adjustments or just replace the pot. The amp's volume peaks at about 4 on the knob (and from there basically only increases in saturation) but it's 40W rating does not mean it will be quiet when cranked.


Yeah, but the volume issue is just one of the quirky aspects of tubes that make them more fun... I'm cool with that.

I can see how the OD can get inarticulate. (I kind of liked it, but I didn't get the longest chance to mess around with it) But it sounds like if I had a low-key TS-808 or maybe a Keely booster or something, the clean channel would break up decently at higher levels. Yeah?

Though I do wonder (not that I'll probably invest in one) how attenuators would work for the Hot Rod...
GEAR
Epiphone SG-400
Marshall 1987 JCM-800 2210 100W

Proud Member of:
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#4
Quote by Weeping_Demon7
Yeah, but the volume issue is just one of the quirky aspects of tubes that make them more fun... I'm cool with that.

I can see how the OD can get inarticulate. (I kind of liked it, but I didn't get the longest chance to mess around with it) But it sounds like if I had a low-key TS-808 or maybe a Keely booster or something, the clean channel would break up decently at higher levels. Yeah?

Though I do wonder (not that I'll probably invest in one) how attenuators would work for the Hot Rod...

Yeah, it's going to be loud no matter what, but the volume pot itself is what I'm referring to. I'm no electronics guru, but I believe it comes stock with a linear-taper pot instead of a logarithmic pot so the volume does not go up evenly. Certainly something to get used to.

Definitely. This amp is by no means versatile on its own, but it does allow you dive into the world of dirt pedals to get your dream distorted tone in that regard, and with the amount of distortion/OD pedals on the market, it's very likely you'll find something you like if you look around and try stuff out

Hmm, I've never heard of anyone using one, but my thoughts are that for less than an attenuator would run you, you could pick up something like a Wampler Tweed '57 and be able to get close to the cranked amp's tone at a lower volume.
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#5
Quote by bassmastamitch
I think it's a great choice for people that need equally good cleans and distortion for a low price.


fixed

also a blues deluxe is probably worth a look, too.
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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
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#6
Quote by Weeping_Demon7
Yeah, but the volume issue is just one of the quirky aspects of tubes that make them more fun... I'm cool with that.


no, that's the quirky aspect of having a logarithmic* volume pot instead of the much more useful and less touchy linear* one

*I might have those two back to front, i forget, but the end result is the same... it's jumpy because of the pots and dodgy design ( a cynic would say it's intentional, to dupe customers who've turned it up to 3 in the shop that "wow, if it's this loud at 3, how loud must it be at 12?!?!?!" "only very slightly louder because of the log pots ")
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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?
#7
Quote by Dave_Mc


also a blues deluxe is probably worth a look, too.


It definitely is, I was picking between both those amps, since they are relatively same (pricewise). Imo the blues deluxe had a warmer sounding clean, which is why I bought it over the HRD. And it is a tweed!
#8
I'm not opposed to a Blues Deluxe, it's just that I seem to have found a good deal on this HRD—$450 with some tax.

Could I get a Blues Deluxe for a similar price?
GEAR
Epiphone SG-400
Marshall 1987 JCM-800 2210 100W

Proud Member of:
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#9
Quote by Weeping_Demon7
I'm not opposed to a Blues Deluxe, it's just that I seem to have found a good deal on this HRD—$450 with some tax.

Could I get a Blues Deluxe for a similar price?


I've seen a couple of BDs go for $ 500 second hand, but those got sold within hours of the post on kijiji. I got mine at $600. Mind you I am in Canada, so the prices may be different. Still the retail here for the BD is $770 and the HRD is 730. (Both without taxes)

While I was looking on kijiji, I found that the HRD goes for more or less 500, while the BD goes for around 600-650.

Ultimately, it comes out to trying the amps (and others) out and deciding if saving up is worth it or not.
#10
yeah the bds do seem to be a bit more sought-after. dunno about the used price, but i know new they go for a bit more.
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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?
#11
Quote by Dave_Mc
fixed

Ah, I forgot to clarify that with a good distortion pedal you get good cleans and dirt.
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#12
eh i suppose, but if distortion is the main concern i'd just get an amp which is aimed at distortion and put up with the cleans. granted if you play clean 90% of the time and only occasionally need distortion, your way works well.
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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?
#13
From what he described in the OP it sounds like he wants half and half and when turned up the HRD has a very usable indie-overdrive type tone.
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#14
Distortion on the BD is nice.

I got one right next to me.
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#15
Quote by bassmastamitch
From what he described in the OP it sounds like he wants half and half and when turned up the HRD has a very usable indie-overdrive type tone.


Very much. I'm gonna see how little gain I can use. If I get some power tube crunch, then hell yeah; but I'd spent all my earlier 11 years thinking that more gain is better. But after a while, I started to notice how my own tone totally was not matching the tonal aesthetic I was listening to and enjoying.

So yeah. I'm taking it down all the way to clean. If I need a booster here and there to get some crunch at non-earsplitting levels, then that's fine. But I imagine I'll be using more delay than drive. And that's a departure for me.

I'm also trying to keep in mind that, while it would be incredibly burdensome on myself and any bandmates, I also have my JCM-800. And everyone knows that has plenty of gain.

The Blues Deluxe, while maybe a better amp, is more expensive; I can't find one around me right now used; and this amp is $450 plus some sales tax. From everything I've read, that's a pretty remarkable deal.

So, that in combo with the fact I've already thrown $150 down on a downpayment to keep it off the floor--means I feel pretty good about this purchase.

And I've been eying a TC Electronics Loop/Delay pedal.... Yummy
GEAR
Epiphone SG-400
Marshall 1987 JCM-800 2210 100W

Proud Member of:
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Marshall Amplification
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#16
^ yeah i figured the money would come into it with the BD, considering it seems like you're getting a pretty good deal on the HRD.

Quote by bassmastamitch
From what he described in the OP it sounds like he wants half and half and when turned up the HRD has a very usable indie-overdrive type tone.


i just meant as a generalisation

i mean there are plenty of amps which have nice cleans and nice od, which might be more useful than very nice cleans and poor od (or vice-versa).

depends on the type of od tone you want, of course. if you're talking lower gain then the hrd (or better yet bd) would be fine as you said, most likely, especially if you can crank it. plus IME lower gain dirt pedals seem to be more natural-sounding than high gain dirt pedals, too.
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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?