#1
So i started playing electric guitar 3 years ago with a starter combo: cort x6 and peavey vypyr 15watt.

Now i am looking to upgrade my equipment starting with the amplifier.
The music i play mostly is metal (groove metal, melodic death metal and neoclassical).

I am looking probably for a combo amp that costs at most 400 Euros.

I haven't thought if it should be again a modeling amp or hybrid.

Also if there is the option to buy a good head for that cash and use it with an inferior standalone cabinet (which i will replace in the future) is something i will consider.

P.S.: I have been looking for something from blackstar or engl since they are usually value for money.
#2
When you use Vypyr what amp model you use the most? Naturally that would be the amp you want. Get the real thing.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#3
Quote by MaaZeus
When you use Vypyr what amp model you use the most? Naturally that would be the amp you want. Get the real thing.


From all the amp emulations i liked the K-Stein. What is the equivalent nowadays?

Thing is the original thing usually is over 1500 euros in cost
#4
Thats Krankenstein and yes its above your budget. Kind of hoping it would have been a 6505 because the used combo can be in your price range, depending on seller. And thats still the amplifier I recommend to check out if there is any in your area

If not or you want to buy new
http://www.thomann.de/fi/jet_city_amplification_jca5012_combo.htm

A combo version of JCA50h. More or less based on Soldano Hot Rod if I am correct and exactly in your price range. Add a boost pedal (Bad Monkey or any tubescreamer clone. Doesnt necessarily need one but it tightens the sound, more variety) and you are set for metal for some time. Doesnt have a dedicated clean channel I have to say if you really need one. The Channel 1 is a crunch that does clean up with gain turned down. Works but may run out of headroom if you ever need cleans in a band situation. And I recommend to change the cheap chinese preamp tubes for better ones when your budget allows. And maybe a speaker swap after a year or two.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
Last edited by MaaZeus at Oct 21, 2013,
#5
Interesting, second time today someone told me about this amp.
From a Greek guitar forum someone suggested this (head): http://www.thomann.de/gr/jet_city_amplification_jca22h_guitar_head.htm
(I could buy a standalone cabinet with the latter, which is worth it in the long run)

Is one of those (what you suggested and the above head) more suited for metal? For example i want to play Lamb of God and they use Mesa/Boogie Rectifier.

Also, someone from the same forum just suggested this: http://www.thomann.de/gr/line6_pod_hd.htm

Its tempting i might say, emulates mesa/boogie dual rectifier and engl fireball, both of which i am interested in if we exclude the budget.

Not sure what i should do here.
#6
Quote by Shockrates
Interesting, second time today someone told me about this amp.
From a Greek guitar forum someone suggested this (head): http://www.thomann.de/gr/jet_city_amplification_jca22h_guitar_head.htm
(I could buy a standalone cabinet with the latter, which is worth it in the long run)

Is one of those (what you suggested and the above head) more suited for metal? For example i want to play Lamb of God and they use Mesa/Boogie Rectifier.

Also, someone from the same forum just suggested this: http://www.thomann.de/gr/line6_pod_hd.htm

Its tempting i might say, emulates mesa/boogie dual rectifier and engl fireball, both of which i am interested in if we exclude the budget.

Not sure what i should do here.



To be honest I was considering recommending that head and a Jet City 2x12 cab to go with it (average speakers but the cab is good, I own the 1x12 one) but went with the 50w combo instead. Jet Cities are insane bang for the buck at thomann, a lot of amp for little money. JCA22h and JCA50/JCA100 share the same preamp so the overall amount of gain is the same but the power section is different (different type of tubes and wattage).

I dont know how they compare to Mesa, never heard one live. About the Pod, unless you want to connect to computer and play through that (kickass for recording with all the amp and cab simulations) or use headphones you still need a good amp the get most of it. I have never used one but I've read about it and almost bought older Pod 2.0 but the sale fell through. The question is, do you want to record or do you want an amp, crank it and feel the sound in your guts? If former go for the Pod now. Latter, you need an amp and get Pod later to get modeling for your amp through FX Return.

Anyway, here is the 100 big brother in action through Marshall cab. More br00tz kind (which is more on my alley, but the gain is definetly there) than Lamb Of God.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFAXos32BCc

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
Last edited by MaaZeus at Oct 21, 2013,
#7
Ι am not interesting in recording.

I want something to have killer sound while i play (at home) which i can also use with a band at some live.

I am considering the jet city amps you mentioned.
In the future probably i will upgrade again the head and get something like Laney Ironheart, so i think getting seperate amp head and cabinet is wiser.

Under those conditions which Jet City should i prefer?
#8
+1 on the jet city

it's really up to you, the combo MaaZeus listed is supposedly the exact same circuit as the head. the harley benton g212vintage cabinet on thomann is also really good value, and that'd make a great rig for slightly over your budget. if you were thinking of eventually swapping the speaker in the combo version, though, there'd be no real difference overall in the price of the two, and personally i'd probably go the separate head/cab route.

It's more of an 80s high gain metal tone than more modern lamb of god type of stuff, but it's about as good as you're going to get for your budget.

you could always consider bugera, but the reliability on them seems to be a bit suspect. I haven't tried them so
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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?
#9
I think a used Peavey XXX 112 will be able to get you sounds you can get along with. It's brighter and more thrashy like Krank stuff.
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#10
I decided i will get one of the following amp heads:
Either JCA22H or Bugera 333XL Infinium.

Obviously the bugera is twice expensive but if its worth it (aka better definition, gain, for more modern stuff) i can wait a bit and get that.

Anyone has a personal comparison of the two?
#11
Go Jet City

I have a Bugera 333, I have had issues with it for 4 years. The other day I turned it on before I was going to trade it in and it did not work. I put it away (with a dust cover on it) and it worked absolutely fine a year ago, now nothing. I will never buy another Bugera product. If you lived near me I'd give it to you just for getting it out of my house.
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
#12
Hey Robb, wouldn't a Krank 1980 do what he needs?
Quote by kangaxxter
Tone is in the fingers.

What you really need is a new amp.

(Anything I missed?)



Quote by Robbgnarly
I have been hearing about MG amps lately. I have heard good about them, but only a few times have they been talked about here.

#13
I am a bit confused regarding the jet city models.

From another forum they tell me jca22h is better quality than jca50 combo, and the construction of the heads are different.

Is this the case? Someone here said the exact opposite that the circuits are the same.
#14
Quote by Shockrates
I am a bit confused regarding the jet city models.

From another forum they tell me jca22h is better quality than jca50 combo, and the construction of the heads are different.

Is this the case? Someone here said the exact opposite that the circuits are the same.


Preamp circuit is basically the same so the amount of gain is also the same. Power amp is different. Also there has been changes in the FX Loop. I dont remember the details but I think was something like this: the big brother Jet Cities work better with rack equipment where as the JCA22h is the pedal friendly one. This is just my faint memory speaking, to be honest I didnt even know there could be such difference. Maybe its just bullshit though.

The JCA22h is more related to single channel JCA20h. Actually the channel 1 is the JCA20h, and they added another channel taken from the JCA50h/JCA100 for high gain stuff, something JCA20h lacked without boost help.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
Last edited by MaaZeus at Oct 22, 2013,
#16
Quote by randomguy2000
Hey Robb, wouldn't a Krank 1980 do what he needs?

Yeah it would, but outside of the USA they are really expensive, here they run $300-$400 max used for the 20 watter

For a cab, look at the Harley Benton 1x12 vintage, it is a 1x12 cab with a V30 speaker in it. It will work great for what you need. But the 2x12 HB vintage cab is <€200, that's what I'd get if you have the funds.

And if you can swing the JCA50h, get it over the JCA22h. If you don't have the money, the JCA22h will get the job done
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Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#17
yeah i heard that about the fx loop in the 22 being in supposedly a "better" place in the circuit path. and from what i heard, in addition to playing better with pedals, it maybe improved the overall tone slightly, too. I'm not sure about other differences. I think there was a thread on the fretboard forum recently about it (the new forum set up to take the place of the defunct musicradar forum), if you want to do a google search.

Quote by Robbgnarly

For a cab, look at the Harley Benton 1x12 vintage, it is a 1x12 cab with a V30 speaker in it. It will work great for what you need. But the 2x12 HB vintage cab is <€200, that's what I'd get if you have the funds.

And if you can swing the JCA50h, get it over the JCA22h. If you don't have the money, the JCA22h will get the job done


i'm not sure if the 1x12 is plywood. the 2x12 is.

agreed with going for the 50 and the 2x12 unless you really can't stretch.
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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?
#18
I have been hearing from people that jca22h is more high-gain heavy rock kind of stuff than modern groove metal.

Some suggested me getting buggera 333xl or peavey jsx for that reason.

Has anyone tried BOTH of them here? Does jca22h have a lighter feel to it?
#19
Trust me stay away from Bugera amps. The 333/333xl has had lots of problems, not because of their sound, but their reliability/build quality is sub par.

The JSX is a great amp and built very well. Not sure how easy they are to find where your at, but the Peavey Ultra would work fine also and is normally $250 used here.

Have you thought about the 6505+ 1x12 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
#20
I haven't thought about the combo you say yet.
Does thomann have 6505+ ? (i am not really into used equipment)

Also i have been looking for an economic cab to go along with jca22h, 1x12 harley benton vintage seems unavailable in thomann right now...

Anything else i should look into, that is value for money?
#21
Yeah Thomann has the 6505+, it is a 1x12 combo but it is loud as hell and can power another cabinet if you need it.

The Harley benton 2x12 vintage is a great deal on a cab. if space is a concern, turn the 2x12 vertical it will have the same footprint as a 1x12 cab just taller.
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
#22
Quote by Shockrates
I have been hearing from people that jca22h is more high-gain heavy rock kind of stuff than modern groove metal.

Some suggested me getting buggera 333xl or peavey jsx for that reason.

Has anyone tried BOTH of them here? Does jca22h have a lighter feel to it?


Propably the same people who think you need obnoxious amount of gain for metal... Same people say that Valveking cant do metal and thats just horse shit. Of course it needs a boost help (the built in gain boost is bad) but it does all kinds of metal just fine with tubescreamer up front. And that amp has less gain than Jet City high gain models, which also need a boost to get tightness for modern stuff.
I bet they are mixing it with JCA20h, which is definetly a hard rock amp at best only.

Note that very few have JCA22h, JCA50h is simply the hotter deal. But they are both very modded amps around and the circuits are familiar. They both have enough gain for metal, its just bit looser kind like Dave said. Hence the tubescreamer pedal recommendation. I say that pedal is a must for any tube amp owner, high gain amp or no. Gives a nice chunk to palm mutes.

Bugera will definetly do exactly what you want being clones of Peavey XXX and JSX (333 and 333XL) and both are metal beasts in same alley as 6505 but be aware of the QC issues which Robb mentioned. Luckily Thomann has good return policies for duds but it may or may not bite you in the ass after the warranty period is over. Its the draw of the luck. Maybe Bugera has finally fixed all the problems they have had (the burning connector thing is not the only one, Infinium line had its own share of problems) but once you get a bad name its hard to get rid off.

Instead of Bugera you might want to consider Laney Ironheart, either the IRT15h or Studio. Ironheart serie is meant to compete in same ballpark as Peavey 6505 and such. There's just two problems. The IRT15h, which is in your price range without cab, has only one channel with toggleable boost. So you have to choose between a lot of tight gain or even more gain beyond obnoxious. Studio has all the same channels as the 60w and 120w heads but goes above your budget. But since you are considering Bugera it costs about same as new and I'd rather trust Laney than Behringer/Bugera.

http://www.thomann.de/fi/laney_irt15h.htm
http://www.thomann.de/fi/laney_irtstudio.htm


By the way Killswitch Engage uses Ironhearts so if that band sound is to your liking, this is the way to go.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
Last edited by MaaZeus at Oct 23, 2013,
#23
Have been hearing mixed reviews on the Ironheart.

Regarding the added boost (tubescreamer pedal) for the Jet Cities. Would the jca22h respond better to that pedal circuitry-wise?

By better i mean in a noticeable-way, not geek debate level better.
#24
Quote by Shockrates
Have been hearing mixed reviews on the Ironheart.

Regarding the added boost (tubescreamer pedal) for the Jet Cities. Would the jca22h respond better to that pedal circuitry-wise?

By better i mean in a noticeable-way, not geek debate level better.


The supposed improvements are in the FX Loop. Boost pedal is used upfront to hammer the bejeezus out of your preamp so no difference there between JCA22h and JCA50h in that regard.

About Ironheart, thats odd. What I have read around the internet has been very positive. The negative aspects have always been about the built-in boost and its better use pedal instead if a boost is needed. I have not heard it myself though.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
Last edited by MaaZeus at Oct 23, 2013,
#25
Alright thanks. Seems i am getting the jca50h since its more value for money than seperate head/cab.

Do i need an overdrive or a distortion pedal with that? (Never actually understood the difference between the two)

Which pedal would you advise?
#26
Quote by Shockrates
Alright thanks. Seems i am getting the jca50h since its more value for money than seperate head/cab.

Do i need an overdrive or a distortion pedal with that? (Never actually understood the difference between the two)

Which pedal would you advise?



You mean to combo JCA5012. With JCA50h you'd need a cab anyway. The best bang for the buck boost pedal is definetly a Digitech Bad Monkey which I have. A tubescreamer clone with expanded EQ. Use it as clean boost. (Level MAX, Gain off or very low, the pedal distortion is not the point here. EQ to taste. Usually flat will do)


In theory there is no difference between overdrive and distortion in function but the amount of distortion overdrive-labeled pedals provide is very small and only get a slight bluesy crunch on clean channel. Distortion pedals have more of the stuff. However, overdrive pedals (most of them are based on old Ibanez Tubescreamer schematics) work fantasticaly in pushing an already distorting amp over the edge. Thats the classic way to get metal sound, crunchy amp like JCM800 played loud + tubescreamer + hot pickups = good old Thrash Metal .

High gain distortion pedals rarely work so well as boosts, better use them for what they are designed for.


Remember, if you really end up hating the amp you can always return it. Thomann has the 30 day money back guarantee, more than enough to get to know your amp and what it can do. I believe it will satisfy your needs (and its definetly best choice for your budget that I can think of), but you never know.


*edit* You might find this interesting. Since Jet City high gain models are based on Soldano Hot Rod this might give you the idea how it sounds like boosted.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYVItfW_6_g

Notice how he turns the gain down around 0:55 mark and then kicks the Maxon boost on. He gets about the same amount of gain as the amp gain turned higher but its much tighter and focused. Thats why people with high gain amps use boost pedals even though they dont need the extra gain. It just sounds good.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
Last edited by MaaZeus at Oct 23, 2013,
#27
Quote by Shockrates
I have been hearing from people that jca22h is more high-gain heavy rock kind of stuff than modern groove metal.


I haven't tried the 22 but yeah the 50 I have is more of a late 80s type of high gain tone- later hair metal and that type of stuff. It has a ton of preamp gain, just it doesn't have that really modern type of tone for modern metal. With a boost, though, it gets pretty heavy, if you ask me.

The big problem is that at your budget you don't have all that many options. There's always the bugera option (which I haven't tried), but reliability with them seems to be suspect.
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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?
#28
Quote by MaaZeus
Hence the tubescreamer pedal recommendation. I say that pedal is a must for any tube amp owner, high gain amp or no. Gives a nice chunk to palm mutes.


agreed. it's worth pointing out that you don't need to buy the expensive ibanez version, most od pedals are tubescreamer clones or lightly modified tubescreamers on the cheap, the digitech bad monkey is good.
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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?
#29
@MaaZeus: Your input has been enlightening.

Though not sure what classifies as a "hot pickup". Now, i am using the bridge pickup on my cort x6, which is a passive mightymite pickup (will probably change those in the future).

Would i need an active emg pickup to hit what i aim for? (or is that an overkill considering all this gain)
Last edited by Shockrates at Oct 23, 2013,
#30
probably not

i'd get an overdrive pedal to use as a boost first, that accomplishes a similar thing to active pickups.

that's not to say you might not prefer the tone with EMGs, but they shouldn't make or break the tone.
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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?
#32
If I would have to guesstimate, propably Pod HD (or Pod XT with Metal Pack installed, plenty of them used for cheap) with Engl Powerball/Fireball model (I dont remember which it has) set as preamp simulation only -> Tube amp FX loop return -> preferably Celestion V30 speaker or something based on it.


I am only speculating here though.

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#33
do you have any clips of his solos that you like? i've heard of the guy but i'm not too familiar with his stuff.
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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?
#35
I can get my jet city pretty quiet and I think it still sounds good, but it does depend on your exact definition of "bedroom volume", and also fizz doesn't really annoy me the big problem is if you need it to be whisper volume, it's only going to sound so good, kind of thing (I mean that almost regardless of what you get, though obviously some things will work better than others at whisper volume, and it's a matter of finding what works best for you and your particular situation).

the jet city would work well for that type of lead tone. the rhythm tone is possibly a bit more modern than the jet city.

if you really have to play super-quiet, though, tube might not be the way to go.

that was pretty epic playing there 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?
#36
get a laney irt15h and plug a cable from the live DI out to the cd/mp3 input. i did and never looked back. and i live in a 2 bedroom flat with my mum. volume isnt a problem as it has a .1 watt input, with only sounds slightly not as good as the 15 watt input. the built in boost and reverb will save you $$ until you can afford better ones too