#1
Ok, I've decided to make the plunge into the world of digital guitar amplification. I'm looking for a combo, preferably large enough to gig with. I'm more concerned with the clean/overdriven tones than hi-gain, but of course I want the best all around. Any suggestions? My budget is around $500

I've played tube for years now, an always had a "purist" attitude towards it. However my mind was changed last time I was at the local music store. Heard an awesome Texas blues tone; I thought when I turned the corner I was going to see a big fender tweed with a tube screamer. Turns out this guy was playing a small modeling amp. I'm truly convinced that you can dial these things in an get good tone.. I couldn't tell the difference from listening alone. It's really caught up IMO.
#2
Well, what amp was it?

There's $100 and $1000 modeling amps. Just because it was a small modeler doesn't mean that you should have ever expected it to be subpar.

Anyway for $500 I suggest just getting a used Peavey Vypyr Tube 60 & a Sanpera II.

Alternatives are the Line 6 Spider Valve Mk.II, and on the SS side, the Vox VT80+ is a pretty decent amp. Jury's still out on the Fender Mustang III for me.
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#3
I can speak well for the VT80+, though I have read many review that reported a buzzing noise. Mine had none, so I'm pretty sure that the newer ones don't have that problem. The VT80+ can be subpar on the presents but you can get some good tones when you switch to manual modes. My dad is more into the clean tones, but I can still get a fairly good one (nothing as good as his Tele gets on his tube amp, though this is probably because I'm playing through Ibanez guitars). Anyway, just wanted to add my thoughts.

EDIT: This is probably irrelevant but I also have to point out that I think the Vox Valvetronix series are good beginner amps during that stage when you're not sure exactly what you want to play as far as tone and style goes. It just has so many effects that you can play with.
Last edited by Nigel51 at Aug 13, 2013,
#4
+1 for the Vox VT.
I'd warn you they sound fizzy and muddy at high volumes and tend to get lost in pretty much any mix. I've heard adding an eq pedal could help but mine's too noisy so I've never bothered trying.

They are otherwise great modeling amps with several good tones. Well worth the used price.
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#5
Line6 flextone ii and an fbv shortboard?
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#6
If you're after mostly clean tones, personally I'd choose the Fender Mustang. The Vypyr is at it's best when played heavy and the Vox is best at crunchy rock/blues tones. When I had a modeller, I chose the Vox.

Have to say though, in my opinion going from a real tube amp to a modeller is a downgrade. For me modellers are great toys for playing around with & experimenting, but if you're gigging you should have progressed to a real amp. I can't help thinking doing it the other way around is taking a step backwards.
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#8
the only blues sound that could have a shot of making it better than a GOOD tube amp, would be AXE or Kemper.
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#9
Quote by trashedlostfdup
the only blues sound that could have a shot of making it better than a GOOD tube amp, would be AXE or Kemper.


Might used to have been true. I've been working with a plain old Pod HD with a Torpedo C.A.B., and I think you need to add that combination to the choices above.



Two Notes has rack-mounts that offer load box and IR cab simulations and that are (as you'd expect) expensive. The C.A.B. is their first stomp-box offering of the cab IRs. In addition, it offers power amp simulation; EL84, EL34, 6L6, or KT88 tubes in Class A or Class A/B topology configurations and either pentode or triode mode. All of this is MIDI controllable, which means that you can run everything -- the Pod HD and the C.A.B. with a single stomp. The C.A.B., at $549, costs more than the Pod (either the HD or the HD500X), but the combination is still leagues cheaper than, say, an Axe-FX II plus MC101 Midi pedal.

My personal basis of comparison is my Axe-FX Ultra. Trust me, the Pod/C.A.B. combination definitely gives it a run for its money. About the only reason to get the Axe is that there are a lot more tweakable bits, so if that's your thing, that's what you need.

Like the Kemper (which runs nearly everything via IR), you can add IRs and there's software to do your own and there are IRs available that you can import.

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Last edited by dspellman at Oct 23, 2014,
#10
+another for the Vox Valvetronix series. Such great amps. I've owned two of them, and they're awesome. My old one was actually a newer model than the one I have now. It was the VT80+. Loved it. When I needed bigger, I sold it and got a bigger but older model, the AD120VT, from one of the much earlier Valvetronix lines. Soooooooo damn good. Love it. Have gigged with it. Managed to find one of the VC12 foot controllers for it, and it's just awesome. With the expression pedal, the auto-wah turns into a regular Vox wah, and sounds glorious.
#11
He's probably bought one by now as this thread is over a year old.
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