#1
I'm in a 2 piece progressive death metal band (guitar/vocals and drums) and we don't really want a bassist at this time, so I'm wanting the biggest, fullest rhythm sound I can get without being muddy. This is my current setup:

Self-built guitar, mahogany/maple body, 25.5" scale, huge strings, A standard tuning, dragonfire screamer bridge pickup.
Tubescreamer
Peavey VTM-60
2X12 cab with EVM12Ls
1X15 cab with an EVM15L

That combo gets me a very big, full sounding guitar tone without being muddy. Those EVMs are ridiculous (and loud!). Now I'm wanting to upgrade my rig. I'm building a new guitar that's lighter in weight (I have arthritis in my back, recent diagnosis) and I've decided on an EMG81 in the bridge. I was initially considering the fuller sounding 85, but with my low tuning and bassy speakers I'm afraid it would get muddy, especially on faster playing. I'm just concerned that the EMG81 will make the guitar sound a bit thin or harsh. I would appreciate any input on this.

But mainly I'm looking at upgrading my amp. My VTM-60 sounds great with a tubescreamer up front, but it just doesn't quite have the tone I'm looking for. Plus I want more watts for more headroom. I have a 6505+ but that isn't quite the sound I'm going for, it's too "polished". Most of my favorite recorded guitar tones (mostly from Nevermore and Cannibal Corpse) involve a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, so that's top on my list for a big thick rhythm sound. However, Engls have been catching my ear lately, and while they don't seem to have the "thickness" that the Mesas have, they have that unique German sound that I really like. However, I've read that many Engls have a bit of high end fizz, which with the EVM speakers would be baaaaad. But with new preamp tubes it fixes that. I dunno.

I don't care at all about versatility, reverb, or a clean channel. I want a one-trick pony all tube amp that's not made in China that will work well with the EVM12L and 15L speakers and crush faces and knock down walls. From the research I've done, the Dual Rectifier will probably be my best bet, but I wanted to crowd source some opinions first, especially on an Engl Powerball or Fireball or Savage.

My budget is not too important, preferably below $1500-$2000, and I'm fine with used gear.

IMPORTANT EDIT: This is only for live playing. For our recorded music I will be doing the standard multi tracking of rhythm parts and laying down a solid bass line.
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Last edited by infinitenexus at Aug 22, 2014,
#2
Quote by infinitenexus
I'm wanting the biggest, fullest rhythm sound I can get without being muddy.
Then you need a bass player, there's no way out of this.
Or an 8 strings guitar.

Else you will get something like this - http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/Spambot_2/music/play1271345
It does sound relatively full, though half of the people listening to it will ask themselves, hey where's the bass?

Powerball II's have a treble circuit so good they wouldn't sound fizzy on a not yet broken in v30.
They also have a fair bit of low end, but they don't sound much like recto's.
Recto's sound fairly organic and juicy to me, while most ENGL's have the sound people associate with digital audio - processed, dry, chunky.
That's not a necessarily bad thing at all - the Powerball II is my favorite guitar amp, so to everyone it's own, but don't buy one blindly.

For a real kick in the guts, you might wanna check out the splawn nitro.
Or maybe it was the quick rod, I'm not completely sure, though I think it was the nitro.

Still, I'd much rather get a bassist if I was you.
Name's Luca.

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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#3
I know a bassist would be the optimal route, but we really enjoy the simplicity (and in some ways, challenge) of being a two piece. It really makes things easier, and I'm kinda tired of playing solos anyways, I'd rather just play intricate rhythms haha. I considered tuning lower, but I'm already down to A standard. Anything below that and I can pretty much kiss 16th notes goodbye. For our recordings, I will be playing bass of course.

Thanks for the notes on the Powerball. Unfortunately I've never seen any Engls in any guitar stores around here (Baltimore) so I don't know if/when I'll ever be able to try one out. My best bet is pretty much watching as many youtube videos as I can. That being said I do like that Engl tone. I used to own an E530 and I really enjoyed it's tone. I guess in the end I don't have to worry too much about having a huge low end, since the speakers I'm running will get 130db and a thick low end out of pretty much anything. I'm going to look into Splawn amps, thanks a bunch.
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#4
Buy an octave pedal and split your signal to a bass amp.
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#5
I considered splitting the signal, but then when I play chords it all goes to mush and sounds like shit. Plus, most splitters I've looked into will only split single notes, not chords. And in the end like I said, we just have no real desire to add another person to this band at the current time. We're tired of dealing with the musicians around here, we're still developing our sound, and we would just really prefer to be a two piece for a while.

Also I checked out the Splawn Nitro, that's a badass sounding amp. It's definitely in my list of possible amps now (Splawn Nitro, Dual Rectifier, Engl Powerball)
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#6
In the end considering the speakers I'm using I guess I don't really have to worry about getting a big thick tone, any high gain tube amp will work. I need an amp that doesn't have any harsh frequencies though, because those EVM speakers recreate all frequencies really accurately - including harsh ones, like the lower treble range that comes from my cheap tubescreamer if I have the tone knob above about 10 o'clock. So I need an amp that's smooth sounding, if that makes sense, and very full with no harsh frequencies. I'm also going to put a tightly woven grill cloth over my speakers to dampen the high end a tad, as right now I just have metal grills over them, so everything comes through.
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#7
Are they guitar speakers? because you will find that full range speakers all guitar amps will sound harsh.

Perhaps a v30 cab and a bass cab with some lower frequency response would be an idea
My Rig:
Maverick F-1, Ibanez RG1527, Schecter Omen 8
Marshall JVM 410H,
Hand built 4x12 w/ V30s
Current board:
PXL LIVE
TU2
WHAMMY IV
MXR M132
MXR M101
TIMMY
NS2
MXR M108
XOTIC EP
TC DREAMSCAPE
DL8
#8
Quote by infinitenexus
since the speakers I'm running will get 130db and a thick low end out of pretty much anything.
Not even.
To get 130dB from them you'd have to use a more or less 100w amp cranked at full volume, and even there you'll probably not exceed 126dB.
Also 130dB in a room with a guitar amp is sooo ****in loud.
Quote by infinitenexus
because those EVM speakers recreate all frequencies really accurately
Again, not even.
They might and I don't doubt they do sound good, but the 12l start dropping at 100Hz, and the 15l wtart dropping at a bit higher than 60Hz, and that's another reason why your tone will not be that full in any case if you use them speakers.

Also they both start dropping the high end at around 5kHz and they have the characteristic high mid hump guitar speakers have.

To tame the fizz I suggest finding a better distortion.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#9
Quote by Spambot_2
Not even.
To get 130dB from them you'd have to use a more or less 100w amp cranked at full volume, and even there you'll probably not exceed 126dB.
Also 130dB in a room with a guitar amp is sooo ****in loud.
Again, not even.
They might and I don't doubt they do sound good, but the 12l start dropping at 100Hz, and the 15l wtart dropping at a bit higher than 60Hz, and that's another reason why your tone will not be that full in any case if you use them speakers.

Also they both start dropping the high end at around 5kHz and they have the characteristic high mid hump guitar speakers have.

To tame the fizz I suggest finding a better distortion.


I wasn't being literal with those statements. However, a 12L has a max SPL of 125db and iirc the 15L is 127db, so 130db is absolutely possible with all of them running together, provided they have enough power. I guess mild sarcasm doesn't always translate well in just text. My point was that they are extremely loud speakers with more low end than other guitar speakers, and they aren't made to distort like typical guitar speakers. They are closer to a hi-fi speaker in those regards. But even a shitty amp through them will, in my experience, be louder and have more low end than the same amp through, say V30s.

The TS9 tends to produce a frequency spike right about where the 12Ls have a frequency spike, so I'd like to do without it, but the VTM-60 is too muddy and "woofy" without it. And it's just not the tone I'm looking for. I'm probably going to pick up a Maxon OD808 in the next few days as a replacement for my TS9. That should help some, but in the end replacing this amp altogether is my ultimate plan. I'm just trying to decide between a few certain amps, and one of the deciding factors is if any of those amps have a frequency spike in the upper midrange/lower treble, because that will not sound good with the 12Ls and 15L.
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#10
^ point taken, sorry
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#11
No worries! I'm guessing by your comments that you haven't heard them in person? They are really something else. They can function as a guitar, bass, or PA speaker, have huge power handling, high sensitivity, are super loud and put out a ton of low end, and are heavy as lead because of their huge magnets. The downside or positive side (depending on the person) is that they don't break up and color the tone like other guitar speakers do. I just need to avoid an amp that puts out too much sound around the 3K spot, where they have that spike.
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#12
In the end I have a feeling I'm over thinking this a bit. Tight grill cloth in front of the speakers to tame them a tad and a dual rectifier would probably get me exactly what I want. I guess I just have a mental aversion to getting an amp that is so popular, I like being the odd guy out there that does it differently. Haha.
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#13
Put a pickup on your lowest string(s) and split that to an octaver and bass amp.
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#14
Quote by infinitenexus
I considered tuning lower, but I'm already down to A standard. Anything below that and I can pretty much kiss 16th notes goodbye. .


By the sound of this, you are playing a 6 string. Considered a 7 or 8 string?
#15
I've considered a 7 string, but I wouldn't use the high string. One of the things I like about lower tunings is that I feel I have more usable range for rhythms - i.e., I can go much higher on the neck before the low end drops out. I have a baritone tuned down to F# like the low 6 strings of an 8 string guitar, but that wouldn't be appropriate for our music. I initially tuned down to Bb but I decided to go a half step further for a thicker sound. In the future if/when we decide to get a bassist I'll probably tune back up to Bb.
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#16
I'm also kinda interested in the newer EVH III amp. Does anyone on here have any experience with that amp?
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#17
If you want a thicker sound, you want something that is low-mid heavy. The Recto will fit that bill, but they aren't known for being the clearest of amps. The 2-channels can have lots of definition, though, and are killer rhythm amps. A Framus Cobra might be a good consideration, as well - they are similar in response to a Recto, but with that German tone.

You already have a 6505+, so I really can't see what the 5150 III is going to offer you, other than better cleans, that would be worth spending the extra cash. Personally, I find the 5150/6505 series of amps to be very thick sounding amps, but I didn't like my 5150 with EVM-12Ls.

IMO, that speaker is the crutch of your system moving forward. While they ARE able to replicate bass frequencies much better than most guitar speakers, I've found they don't offer enough for me to use as them as an "everyday speaker." I like them as a speaker for someone who plays a lot of leads, but I don't find them to be particularly appealing for someone who plays a lot of rhythms. Personally, I'd consider swapping out the EVM-12L cab for something with V30s or GK100s and keep the 15" cab, if you feel you still need it (personally, I hate 15s, even for bass).
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#18
Quote by MatrixClaw
If you want a thicker sound, you want something that is low-mid heavy. The Recto will fit that bill, but they aren't known for being the clearest of amps. The 2-channels can have lots of definition, though, and are killer rhythm amps. A Framus Cobra might be a good consideration, as well - they are similar in response to a Recto, but with that German tone.

You already have a 6505+, so I really can't see what the 5150 III is going to offer you, other than better cleans, that would be worth spending the extra cash. Personally, I find the 5150/6505 series of amps to be very thick sounding amps, but I didn't like my 5150 with EVM-12Ls.

IMO, that speaker is the crutch of your system moving forward. While they ARE able to replicate bass frequencies much better than most guitar speakers, I've found they don't offer enough for me to use as them as an "everyday speaker." I like them as a speaker for someone who plays a lot of leads, but I don't find them to be particularly appealing for someone who plays a lot of rhythms. Personally, I'd consider swapping out the EVM-12L cab for something with V30s or GK100s and keep the 15" cab, if you feel you still need it (personally, I hate 15s, even for bass).



Thanks a bunch, that's what I've read about the rectos versus the marks, and I think the recto would really do well. Good point on the EVH III also.

I really don't want to agree with you about the EVM12Ls but I will silently agree with you while typing no! They are amazing! Their volume and low end is nothing short of extraordinary but they do have a certain harshness to them. Running a high gain amp at concert volumes just makes that more apparent. I think your idea of replacing them (probably with V30s) and keeping the 15" (I'll put a cloth grill over it though to help tame that ice pick treble) would probably be a sensible idea - plus it would lighten the 2X12 cab by about 20 pounds, which would make my back happy.

15s can be good for the right stuff. For my last doom album I record all the rhythms with an old AlNiCo magnet 15" from 1964 and it sounded fantastic - but that was slower, heavier, kinda chugging guitar sounds, nothing fast. And for the record that same speaker sounded horrible for solos.

So EMG-81 in the bridge position, Dual Rectifier or comparable amp, replace the EVM12Ls with V30s, keep the EVM15L. I think that should get me a nice wall of sound that will crush everyone within 100 feet.
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#19
Orange Thunderverb 200 (not the Orange Thunder) or Mesa RoadKing II. I've used the Orange with a 412 (EVM-12Ls) and EV 215 with EVM-15L and EVM-15B.

Also, check out the new Emi EM-12L and the Delta Pro 12A (80 oz magnet, not the 56) and Delta Pro-15A.
#20
Thanks!

I've heard some good things about the thunderverb. Ultimately it'll be dependent on whether or not I'm able to test it out. I'm going to start checking the guitar stores around here though. You say it works well with EVM12Ls though? No harshness?

200 watts through 4 EVM12Ls. That had to be some serious volume.
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#21
I dunno that I'd choose a Thunderverb 200 for death metal, personally. It's a really cool amp with a HUGE sound, but it's not tight enough for death metal IMO. Great stoner rock/doom amp, but the low end will be too loose for what you're playing. I really like that amp for bass, but at the price it costs, there's a plethora of other amps I'd consider before buying it for guitar
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#22
When I think huge rhythm tone, this comes to mind...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGEk5l7O4SQ

You'll never really sound huge without multitracking and a bass guitar. A single guitarist with a single amp only gets you so far.
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#23
Quote by infinitenexus
Thanks!

I've heard some good things about the thunderverb. Ultimately it'll be dependent on whether or not I'm able to test it out. I'm going to start checking the guitar stores around here though. You say it works well with EVM12Ls though? No harshness?

200 watts through 4 EVM12Ls. That had to be some serious volume.

Yep! I played guitar and bass through that set-up. Currently, I use a Markbass TTE500 but I also used a Traynor YBA200 with a 212 (EVM12L) and/or 115 (EVM-15L):



I've also started using

Quote by MatrixClaw
I dunno that I'd choose a Thunderverb 200 for death metal, personally. It's a really cool amp with a HUGE sound, but it's not tight enough for death metal IMO. Great stoner rock/doom amp, but the low end will be too loose for what you're playing. I really like that amp for bass, but at the price it costs, there's a plethora of other amps I'd consider before buying it for guitar

$1500 used ... it'll work, and wasn't loose through a 412 and a 215 or 115.
#24
Quote by infinitenexus
I considered splitting the signal, but then when I play chords it all goes to mush and sounds like shit. Plus, most splitters I've looked into will only split single notes, not chords. And in the end like I said, we just have no real desire to add another person to this band at the current time. We're tired of dealing with the musicians around here, we're still developing our sound, and we would just really prefer to be a two piece for a while.

Also I checked out the Splawn Nitro, that's a badass sounding amp. It's definitely in my list of possible amps now (Splawn Nitro, Dual Rectifier, Engl Powerball)


i have recently gone out to try every octaver or harmonizers to split haven't found one i was not satisfied by tracking of them.

get a bassist.

_______________

i have a Nitro KT88 and a Mesa Trem-o-Verb (dual rec with tremolo). both pretty cheap if you are patient. and i love them both. features are quite different IMO but for what i need i am fun
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#25
in my experience, big huge rhythm sounds come from the full band working together (bass included). I used to think bass was useless and then i found myself bitching about how my mixes were weak compared to what i liked. Its the bass.

If you are totally against a bassist, download kontakt and zombass and write your bass with midi and use amp and cab sims. Then plug your laptoo out into your mixer and play along with your bass rhythm
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#26
Quote by MatrixClaw
I dunno that I'd choose a Thunderverb 200 for death metal, personally. It's a really cool amp with a HUGE sound, but it's not tight enough for death metal IMO. Great stoner rock/doom amp, but the low end will be too loose for what you're playing. I really like that amp for bass, but at the price it costs, there's a plethora of other amps I'd consider before buying it for guitar



Thank you
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#27
Quote by lemurflames
When I think huge rhythm tone, this comes to mind...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGEk5l7O4SQ

You'll never really sound huge without multitracking and a bass guitar. A single guitarist with a single amp only gets you so far.



Pretty decent tone, but honestly I think I could get something bigger out of the same amp. Even still, I'm a big fan of Mr Ola.

For our recordings I will be double tracking and possibly quad tracking all rhythm guitars, and of course laying down a solid bass line. This is only for live playing. I guess I should have clarified that in the beginning, sorry.
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#28
In the end, while I'm speculating a lot, I have to remember that most of my favorite guitar tones come from dual or triple rectifiers run through V30s. So if that's the sound I want, I need to start with that and move from there. I'm hoping that a recto through 2 V30s and an EVM15L will give me the meatiness I want for live playing. I'm pretty certain it will. While I really like the Engl Savage and other amps that I've heard on youtube, I think I should be smart and stick with what's proven over the last 10-15 years to be a brutally efficient rhythm amp and stick with a dual rectifier. I'm going to save my pennies and hopefully get one next paycheck. After that I'll be adjusting speakers, maybe adding an OD808, and other things to tweak my live tone. For our recordings I'll be using either my 6505+ through a V30 (incredible smooth tone) or maybe this potential new recto through a V30. But right now I'm concerned about the live sound.

I would like to thank everyone for their input. As much as I still want an Engl, I think I'm going to just get a dual rectifier. It's a proven super heavy and thick sounding rhythm amp, made in America and very high quality, so I figure it's the safest starting point. From there in the future I'll probably end up getting an Engl because that sound is just wow. And I'll be adjusting speakers and other little tidbits to get my sound down. And most importantly I"ll post a sound clip so you guys can hear it.
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#30
I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to mesa boogies, all I know is that those in the dual rectifier family tend to have huge, thick rhythm sounds as long as you spend an hour dialing in the sound (due to the global EQ system). Personally I would like the simplest one; as I said earlier, I would just like a one trick pony for this amp. I don't need a clean channel or reverb or any fancy options, I just want face crushing metal from this amp. I'm going to try to play through any Mesas that I can through local guitar stores but I have a feeling a dual rectifier is exactly what I'm looking for.

Also I've decided to tune up a half step back to Bb standard. Yeah A might have a bit more chunk but it sacrifices clarity for that, and I'm tuned low enough already. Besides, my favorite guitarists (Pat O'Brian and Jeff Loomis) are tuned to Bb so I think I'm good.
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#31
I still want an Engl Savage one day though. Because damn that German tone!
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#32
Here is my .311 cents


If you have to try first that may hold you back. If you like Ola and understand that all of his demos are processed he has a cool Splawn Quick Rod vid.

The Quick Rod, like the other Splawns, have excellent note definition. It is very hard to get one to flub out on you. They are fairly tight and dry so you won't get a lot of saturation. Rhythm wise I'd give them maybe a 7 or 8 out of 10. They do take low tunings well The Quick Rod is def more of a modded Marshall beast.

I just got a Single Rec Rectoverb and fills in the gap that the Splawn doesn't have. Saturation and juice (as someone else said - Spambot maybe). But with that juice comes a fair amount of definition as MatrixClaw said. I just put EL34s in mine and I like it even more now. Of course that is a 50 w head do the Dual Rec would be better in the headroom category (I run my Quick Rod at 50w)

So, where I'm going with all of that is that I think a Splawn Nitro would be the best of those two worlds. If the Recto and the Quick Rod had a baby it would be the Nitro. Sight unseen - that would be my pick. KSE ran Nitros for awhile. Then they went to Laney Ironhearts (and still kick major ass)

You can find a used Nitro for around $1,300. Quick Rods at $1,100. My Single Rec was $490