#1
Long time reader, but now looking for some advice.

I'm looking at purchasing a tube amp with variable wattage and was hoping for some feedback or possible alternatives to look in to. All of these amps are in the $500 - $600 range.

I'll be purchasing an Avatar 2x12" to go with the amp, not sure on the speakers yet, but that's a debate for another day, or tomorrow, which is when I plan on ordering.

The amps I've considered:
Marshall DSL15H - 15W/7.5W
Peavey Valveking II - 100w/25W/5W
Carvin V3M - 50w/22W/7W

Peavey Valveking II 100w

Likes:
  • Lots of headroom
  • Speaker defeat switch (for direct recording, output to another device)
  • Tube monitoring (tells you when a tube is out of spec)
  • USB Direct Recording
  • Variclass seems like a cool feature
  • Reverb built in
  • 100W/25W/5W


Dislikes:
  • Fixed BIAS (replacing tubes would be the first thing I did-I would go EL34 in the power)
  • Not a lot of quality reviews out there
  • Mixed reviews on the previous generations
  • I'm kind of iffy on the brand, but I've loved the 5150's.


Marshall DSL15H

Likes:
  • Many positive reviews
  • It's a Marshall and sounds like a Marshall
  • No gimmicks, straight forward amp.
  • 15W or 7.5W


Dislikes:
  • No effects loop
  • Many reviews state the ultra gain channel is unwieldy
  • Not certain, but I believe it's a fixed BIAS



Carvin V3M

Likes:
  • Lots of headroom
  • Three channels - two identical
  • Assembled in the USA
  • Better reviews than the other two amps
  • 50W/22W/7W
  • Manual Bias


Dislikes:
  • I can't go to a store and play one.



All in all, I'm leaning towards the Carvin. The Marshall is a close second and the Peavey has its merits.

The Carvin seems to be the most flexible of the three and has all of the features I want. I do dislike the look of it, but I don't really care about that too much.
#2
Quote by evildoer993

Carvin V3M

Likes:
  • Lots of headroom
  • Three channels - two identical
  • Assembled in the USA
  • Better reviews than the other two amps
  • 50W/22W/7W
  • Manual Bias


Dislikes:
  • I can't go to a store and play one.



All in all, I'm leaning towards the Carvin. The Marshall is a close second and the Peavey has its merits.

The Carvin seems to be the most flexible of the three and has all of the features I want. I do dislike the look of it, but I don't really care about that too much.


A friend of mine has one of these it's an awesome amp sounds great
Gear
Jackson DK2
Ibanez RGR320EX
Guild X82 Nova
Godin Seagull S6

Vox V847
Vox VT40+ / VFS5 VT


Quote by FatalGear41

Right now, there are six and a half billion people on earth who don't care what kind of tubes you have in your amplifier
#4
What do you hope to achieve with the variable wattage? I see a 15/7.5 watt amp on the same list with a 100/5 watt amp and I'm wondering how much wattage you really need?

It also makes me worry that you think a wattage switch is more powerful than it really is. The difference between a 15 and a 7.5 watt setting is not enormous. It is not going to take you from super loud to whisper quiet. I do not think a wattage switch should be so high on your list of priorities if you cannot decide between a 15 and a 100 watt amp. All these amps have a good master volume, you can use them all just fine at low volumes even at their highest wattage settings. I would not look at these amps and assume that they are more versatile at low volumes just because they have a switch that says "watts" on them. That's a red herring.

Also, fixed bias does not mean you cannot change the power tubes. You can swap the power tubes in a Valveking without rebiasing. The bias is simply set very cold so you're nowhere near in danger of having the bias set too hot, it's a very common thing in modern amps.
#5
I dont care for high wattage, I am looking for amps that can push between 1 and 15 watts for my office. All of these amps are capable of 5w to 7.5w, which it'll likely be ran nearly 100% of the time. I looked at many of the low wattage amp heads out there and they didn't really have the features I was looking for.

I do like the headroom as an option if I ever do anything more with the amp, but by no means is it something I'm looking for. This is an amp going in to my office to play while I work. It's not my primary rig, I'm just looking to spend about $1100 on an office rig but want to stay away from combos.
#6
Unless you are chasing power tube distortion, selectable power is a load of bollocks. It's a gimmick designed to fool the gullible.
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
#7
Quote by Cathbard
Unless you are chasing power tube distortion, selectable power is a load of bollocks. It's a gimmick designed to fool the gullible.


Agreed. Buy an amp that has YOUR most excellent tone in there and ignore wattage switches completely. The difference between 15w and 7.5w is from 112-109db. Still pretty f'ing loud. So much marketing BS in amps these days. If you love Marshall tone find a good used Class 5 and get a 1x12 cab. Excellent British tone in a practice amp package.

I am a Mesa fanboy and it's really starting to piss me off all the knobs, switches, controls and utter BS they are putting on these amps lately. They do still sound good but sheesh!
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#8
Most amps will sound best at their highest wattage unless you're going for cranked power tube saturation. But since you're looking at the amps you're looking at for low-volume office use, I'm assuming that's not what you want. Don't worry too much about wattage. Just look for something that gets the tones you want at the volumes you need. Wattage usually has very little to do with that unless you're going for specific tones, but your choices suggest that you're not looking for those tones.
#9
Agreed, I never run my mesa on the low wattage modes, it just sounds crap, sounds much better on full wattage just turned down heaps. Now a linear volume knob would get my vote
RG's & Mesa's
#10
Quote by Roc8995
What do you hope to achieve with the variable wattage? I see a 15/7.5 watt amp on the same list with a 100/5 watt amp and I'm wondering how much wattage you really need?

It also makes me worry that you think a wattage switch is more powerful than it really is. The difference between a 15 and a 7.5 watt setting is not enormous. It is not going to take you from super loud to whisper quiet. I do not think a wattage switch should be so high on your list of priorities if you cannot decide between a 15 and a 100 watt amp. All these amps have a good master volume, you can use them all just fine at low volumes even at their highest wattage settings. I would not look at these amps and assume that they are more versatile at low volumes just because they have a switch that says "watts" on them. That's a red herring.

Also, fixed bias does not mean you cannot change the power tubes. You can swap the power tubes in a Valveking without rebiasing. The bias is simply set very cold so you're nowhere near in danger of having the bias set too hot, it's a very common thing in modern amps.


+1

Quote by Cathbard
Unless you are chasing power tube distortion, selectable power is a load of bollocks. It's a gimmick designed to fool the gullible.


+1
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?