#1
You all seem like a handsome collection of guitar-goers who can help me!

My amp is not very good, its a Line 6 spider IV 15 watt. i may not be very good either, but im progressing and beginning to jam with people, and feel a better amp will be necessary pretty soon.

Gear: I'm using an Ibanez RG321 mh with seymour duncan distortion pups, its not the bee's knees per se` but it sounds nice, especially on friend's amps so i feel an amp upgrade would be more efficient than a guitar upgrade. As far as pedals, i use a Zoom G2.1Nu effects/USB/expression pedal

Sound preference and budget: budget will be up to about $300-400, possibly more depending on if there are ridiculous upgrades for a slightly higher budget. I've been working on some Dream theater, Iron maiden, Rainbow, Steve Vai, Tenacious D, Pink Floyd.. these kinds of things.

I've been checking out some reviews here and talking with friends, but there's a lot of info to take in. i ultimately want a Mesa/Boogie but i dont gots the cash like that, so Ampeg, Vox, Peavey, Blackheart all look good, but im hoping some of you can point me in the right direction? thank you lots!
#2
Need to be even more specific than that really, if you want the tenacious D sound for example its an acoustic guitar, although there touring guitarist uses a Fender if that helps, Steve Vai plays a Carvin and I don't know about the rest but a Marshall probably covers all those sonic needs but I digress.
Brand new or second hand first off, then do you want a modelling amp or not? How much volume do you need? Do you want valve or solid state?

Im a bit of a fanboy but I always tell people to consider Orange amps, their terror range is in your price range, all valve, loud as hell and then to pick up any cab you can find off eBay that has Celestions for £50-£100. Blackstar, Marshall and Hayden also do pretty good low wattage valve heads.
I'd also say sell your fx pedal and add that to your budget, zoom pedals are poor sound quality and will just kill the sound of a better amp so why bother?
#3
Quote by gay4slipknot
Need to be even more specific than that really, if you want the tenacious D sound for example its an acoustic guitar, although there touring guitarist uses a Fender if that helps, Steve Vai plays a Carvin and I don't know about the rest but a Marshall probably covers all those sonic needs but I digress.
Brand new or second hand first off, then do you want a modelling amp or not? How much volume do you need? Do you want valve or solid state?

Im a bit of a fanboy but I always tell people to consider Orange amps, their terror range is in your price range, all valve, loud as hell and then to pick up any cab you can find off eBay that has Celestions for £50-£100. Blackstar, Marshall and Hayden also do pretty good low wattage valve heads.
I'd also say sell your fx pedal and add that to your budget, zoom pedals are poor sound quality and will just kill the sound of a better amp so why bother?


thank you for the thorough reply. i think i would prefer valve to solid state and a large volume capacity isnt a very high priority for me at the moment, but im sure it would be useful down the line. i havent looked at orange amps, ill have to do that. kind of disappointing news on the pedal, i like the variety of sounds and drum tracks on it, but i suppose a better amp would be easier on the ears than some funky sounds from a zoom
#4
You seem to me like you could use a used Peavey Vypyr tube 60!
With that you wouldn't even have the problem of getting a multi-effects pedal.

I happen to like orange amps too, but the (in my opinion) best and still cheapest amp they made is the jim root terror, which is based on the rockerverb dirty channel and costs about €530, which is too much over your budget I'd say.
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#5
I think where getting a little too ahead off ourselves immediately going for valve here. Valve amps can be a hindrance then a joy for some people they take work/money to maintain and getting to use them isn't easy due to how lond they are and how crappy they sound quiet. Plus they are heavy! lugging that to practice isn't great especially a 60 watt vypre combo.

There's nothing wrong with solid state amps I tend to beleave they get a bad name because of people's misconception when they see a bad solid state they brand it as the problem rather then the fact they don't like the amp personally (Kinda like feeling good about them selfs similar to wine tasters)or for the fact that alot of solid states are just cheaply made meaning cheap sound that logic goes towards valve amps cheap parts cheap sound simple.

You should consider solid stats amps blackstars ID series is very good and ampeg VH is something of a legendary death metal amp (that would be in the used market) I can recommend some on market and used gems that are good and espicailly cheap used ones which people find very hard to sell because of tube snobs.

Personally I would recommend you go down to your local guitar shop and try what ever's in your budget and what you like and consider aswell why you don't like your current amp as that will help you decide what amp will fix that or see if the problem is you (No offense but the harsh reality I've had to accept it when i replaced my marshall MG with a 100 watt laney.)

The reality is fanbosim and all sorts of crap will get in the way of us recommending whats best for you it's important you go down in your store and make the choice yourself with a sales rep trying to push you into buying something so he/she (Equal opportunist there) can get the commission on his/her paycheck he also might have better advice. If your local guitar shop is crap find a better one if online is your only option get a monkey some darts and make it throw them at a board with potential amps you like as thats the best and most honest way your going to get the best amp for yourself.
#6
Quote by itsonlyauser
I think where getting a little too ahead off ourselves immediately going for valve here. Valve amps can be a hindrance then a joy for some people they take work/money to maintain and getting to use them isn't easy due to how lond they are and how crappy they sound quiet. Plus they are heavy! lugging that to practice isn't great especially a 60 watt vypre combo.

There's nothing wrong with solid state amps I tend to beleave they get a bad name because of people's misconception when they see a bad solid state they brand it as the problem rather then the fact they don't like the amp personally (Kinda like feeling good about them selfs similar to wine tasters)or for the fact that alot of solid states are just cheaply made meaning cheap sound that logic goes towards valve amps cheap parts cheap sound simple.

You should consider solid stats amps blackstars ID series is very good and ampeg VH is something of a legendary death metal amp (that would be in the used market) I can recommend some on market and used gems that are good and espicailly cheap used ones which people find very hard to sell because of tube snobs.

Personally I would recommend you go down to your local guitar shop and try what ever's in your budget and what you like and consider aswell why you don't like your current amp as that will help you decide what amp will fix that or see if the problem is you (No offense but the harsh reality I've had to accept it when i replaced my marshall MG with a 100 watt laney.)

The reality is fanbosim and all sorts of crap will get in the way of us recommending whats best for you it's important you go down in your store and make the choice yourself with a sales rep trying to push you into buying something so he/she (Equal opportunist there) can get the commission on his/her paycheck he also might have better advice. If your local guitar shop is crap find a better one if online is your only option get a monkey some darts and make it throw them at a board with potential amps you like as thats the best and most honest way your going to get the best amp for yourself.

NO

Tube amps are not magically harder to maintain than a SS amp, so get that BS misconception out of the way right now. If anything a tube amp is easier to fix than a SS amp most of the time.

Yes tube amps tend to sound better the louder they are, but I can get good tones at low volumes just fine (and they are better than most SS amps) so this is another false misconception people spread here.

Yes if weight is an issue, tube amps might not bet the best solution. But people have used big heavy combos for a long time, casters or a hand-tuck are great if you have to move the amp a lot.
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
#7
I didnt mean to be too harsh about the Zoom pedal really, multi-fx pedals can be great for messing around with but you start getting into the question if you're spending 300-400 on a valve amp with a great distortion channel then you dont want to use the cheap distortion in your pedal instead, and seeing as the zoom doesn't have an FX loop your reverbs, delays, chorus's, etc are useless since you don't run those effects before distortion, just my advice/experience.

The best orange terror for your style would definitely be the Jim root signature but it is the most expensive, the tiny terror is much more modest and gives a very crunchy rock sound. I'd say stay away from the Peavey Vypyr, with all that digital processing its not going to respond like a true valve amp, be just on par with any other SS modelling amp unless you really pushed it to powertube distortion but that's going to be pretty loud on a 60W. I've really been looking into lunchbox style amp later (small, lightweight, low wattage) such as the orange tiny terror but as i was saying before there are other good ones to look at, the Hayden mini-mofo, Jet City JCA0H, Blackstar HT studio
#8
If you stick a few dollars more with your budget, you can get a used Mesa DC-3. These are very similar to the Mark series that JP uses. They run $500ish used at www.guitarcenter.com/usedgear
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
#9
ahhhh the tube vs solid state debate xD im quite curious about a good tube tbh.

i actually did that local guitar shop test run using a steve vai ibanez jem 770 on a marshall head and it was like running my fingers up and down a piece of raw excitement. so im going to do this a few more times for sure

weight isnt an issue, if its kinda heavy ill deal because itll be worth it. i also totally do not mind holding out longer for an amp that i will want to keep for awhile or for good, i dont like to buy things for temp use, you spend more this way

so far: orange jim root terror (best match?), peavey vypyr(want more opinions), a hopeful-to-be-affordable used mesa :-O__, most marshalls or blackstar HT's, and give a fair/objective chance to a good solid state.

well you guys are awesome this is just the info i am looking for. i am getting close to really narrowing things down