#1
Normally I'd take the time to do the research myself, but I'm a little pressed for time right now. I got an email from Musicians Friend giving me a 20% off coupon that's good until Thursday. Being the frugal shopper I am, I've decided that it would be a heinous crime to ignore this once-in-a-year opportunity! I've got some nice guitars, but I'm sadly lacking in the amp department right now. I'm currently playing through a Peavey Vypyr 75w combo that I've had forever. It sounds alright, but it's really nothing more than a practice/jamming amp, and I'm getting to the point where the amateur tone just isn't cutting it. I've done a little research already, but there's just too much ground for me to cover in the next few days so I'd really appreciate it if some of you guys could give me a direction to start in.

I'd be playing an LTD H-1001, MH-417 and Ibanez RGT42FM (all with EMGs) through the amp. Strong and prominent gain is essential for me, but cleans are also pretty important. I'm a fan of versatility (yeah, the EMGs are kinda ironic), so I'd rather have an amp that can do both pretty well than an amp that crushes on the high gain channel but cleans up badly. I play a lot of metal (think Between the Buried and Me, Sylosis, Opeth, Mastodon etc) but I'm also getting into jazz a bit. My Vypyr can handle most metal tones to a reasonable extent, but I've had a really hard time getting a decent tone for jazz. I could get an alright tone for leads and melodies, but chords always sounded a little cold and thin.

I'd be using the amp to jam with my band and play small shows, but I'd also be using it to do some amateur recording. I don't need a lot of power since I'd be playing smaller shows and don't need too much head room for the cleans (I could always mic it up to a PA if I had too as well).

2+ channels would be preferred, but I could live with 1 channel if the amp sounds good and isn't too expensive.

Combos are preferred, but a head isn't out of the question. Amp modelers are also an option.

My budget is around $5-700 (before the discount is applied). At this point in time I can't really stretch too far beyond that, but I'd still like to hear suggestions above that price range if you've got em.


From what I've found so far, I'm most interested in either the Laney IRT Studio or the Line 6 POD HD500X. Both are are in my budget, but I also have concerns about each. I think the Laney has a lot of useful features and 15w should be enough for my uses, but I'd also have to spend more money after the fact on a cab to play it through. The other option is to spend another $100 and buy the 30w combo. However, the combo doesn't have the out of box recording capabilities as the studio so I'm a little on the fence here. The Pod is cheap and also very versatile. I've heard some great lead and clean tones from it online, but the high gain rhythm tones I've heard just sound compressed and fake. I have yet to hear or play one in person however, so I don't know how it would sound if I were to play it through a PA. I've thought about a 6505 combo as well, but I've heard they're heavy as **** and I don't really want to transport a load of bricks from my house to my drummers house regularly, but I suppose I could always leave the Vypyr at my house to practice with and the 6505 at the drummers house to jam with.

I'm not really sure what direction to head in right now, so any personal experience and suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for any insight you can provide!
Quote by ErikLensherr
Shitting isn't a perk. Shitting is a hassle.
#2
I think the Studio can run without a cab and output to headphones.

Whether or not it sounds good, shrug.
Ibanez Prestige RG852MPB
Ibanez Prestige RG652KFX
ESP E-II M-1
LTD AW-7
Schecter Loomis NT
EVH 5150 III 50
PRS 212 DB
Line 6 POD HD500X
Deadhorse OD/Boss HM-2
#3
Yeah I'm sure it wouldn't sound too good through the headphones, although it does have an emulated output. I guess that I could play it through my drummers PA until I get a cab and I guess it would get the job done. But then it's back to the sounding good thing. I'd hate to spend the money on some nice gear only to have it sound bad due to how I'm using it.
Quote by ErikLensherr
Shitting isn't a perk. Shitting is a hassle.
#4
HD500X in your PA sounds like your best bet.
Ibanez Prestige RG852MPB
Ibanez Prestige RG652KFX
ESP E-II M-1
LTD AW-7
Schecter Loomis NT
EVH 5150 III 50
PRS 212 DB
Line 6 POD HD500X
Deadhorse OD/Boss HM-2
#5
Ok, thanks for the advice. Have you heard a POD through a PA by any chance? I've heard a bunch of POD tones online and a lot of them sound thin and sterile but I've been told that that's mostly due to the fact that they're all digital and don't move air like a speaker would, so theoretically playing through a PA should rectify this. Any idea if this is true?
Quote by ErikLensherr
Shitting isn't a perk. Shitting is a hassle.
#6
I'm not the person to ask on that. My only experience was playing a bass guitar through an HD Pro and into a cheap Chinese PA speaker.

dspellman may show up and in here and tell you all you need to know about it. He's been posting in this thread.
Ibanez Prestige RG852MPB
Ibanez Prestige RG652KFX
ESP E-II M-1
LTD AW-7
Schecter Loomis NT
EVH 5150 III 50
PRS 212 DB
Line 6 POD HD500X
Deadhorse OD/Boss HM-2
#7
Ok, thanks for taking the time to post your opinion and the link to the other thread! I really appreciate it.
Quote by ErikLensherr
Shitting isn't a perk. Shitting is a hassle.
#8
I've had plenty of people play before or after me using a HD500 into the PA. They often come up to me afterwards asking how I get my sound. Sure, they're a lot better than previous generations of modelers but compared to an RM100 with a good module, they sound like crap. Well, crap is being a bit harsh, let's just say not as good. Definitely useable but you don't want to be following somebody with a good pro quality tube amp. Of course though, you're talking almost a full order of magnitude cheaper. I'd much prefer my RM or another quality amp but if I had to, I'd be happy enough to go on stage with one. If all you've got to spend is a few hundred rather than a few thousand, I'd say go for it.
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
#9
How hard would it be to buy the IRT Studio and hack up a cheap cable to attach the speaker of your Vypyr to the IRT's output? unplugging the leads to the Vypyr obviously. Or you could put a switch in there to toggle between them.
#10
I doubt that that would sound very good, the speaker in the Vyper is basically a FR/FR type of thing.
You'd be better off upgrading to a Vyper Tube IMO. Everything would be familiar to you, but just sound better.
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
#11
A couple options:

Sell your Vypyr and get a Vypyr Tube 60 combo, put some wheels on it and you're good to go. You won't have to spend much money, and you can use the amp for practicing or for gigs. They're a 1x12, so it's not too hard to lug around.

Jet City JCA50 Head. Based off of the Soldano SLO. They go used all the time for $300-50, match that with a 2x12 cab with some decent speakers and you've got an awesome rig. That's the setup I use. I play Mastodon, Baroness, BTBAM type stuff with it and it's perfect.

for $700, you can get a number of decent used amps and a nice 2x12 if the Jet City is not your thing.
#12
Hey pal, if you haven't made your decision yet I'd say something worth looking into is the Blackstar HT - 40. It doesn't have the built in effects options that the POD offers but it is more than capable of versatility as far as great natural distortion and great cleans. It's 40 watts, fully tubed (2 EL34s, and 2 ECC83s), has two footswitchable channels, one 12" Celestion and tons of EQ tweaking abilities. Based on what you've said, I think that this amp would do the trick. Best of luck man!
#13
Shame it sounds so shitty though, huh?
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
#14
Quote by Cathbard
I've had plenty of people play before or after me using a HD500 into the PA. They often come up to me afterwards asking how I get my sound. Sure, they're a lot better than previous generations of modelers but compared to an RM100 with a good module, they sound like crap. Well, crap is being a bit harsh, let's just say not as good. Definitely useable but you don't want to be following somebody with a good pro quality tube amp. Of course though, you're talking almost a full order of magnitude cheaper. I'd much prefer my RM or another quality amp but if I had to, I'd be happy enough to go on stage with one. If all you've got to spend is a few hundred rather than a few thousand, I'd say go for it.


Thanks for your input! I'd really rather prefer to be getting a tone that makes your ears perk up than a tone that could be classified as being not quite crap haha. Looks like I'll be saving up a bit longer to get a higher quality rig. Could things come to those who wait I guess...


Quote by evmac
A couple options:

Sell your Vypyr and get a Vypyr Tube 60 combo, put some wheels on it and you're good to go. You won't have to spend much money, and you can use the amp for practicing or for gigs. They're a 1x12, so it's not too hard to lug around.

Jet City JCA50 Head. Based off of the Soldano SLO. They go used all the time for $300-50, match that with a 2x12 cab with some decent speakers and you've got an awesome rig. That's the setup I use. I play Mastodon, Baroness, BTBAM type stuff with it and it's perfect.

for $700, you can get a number of decent used amps and a nice 2x12 if the Jet City is not your thing.



I've considered the Vypyr Tube, but I'd really rather get something that's a higher quality. The Vypyr can get some good tones, but I've found even the tube version is a "jack of all trades, master of none" sort of deal. It would work for me right now, but I'd probably be upgrading again in a year or so, so I might as well upgrade now. Thanks for the JCA50 recommendation. I've watched some videos but haven't heard any tones that really inspire me, but I'm still digging around and seeing what I can find. If you're playing Mastodon, Baroness and BTBAM through one with no problems then it's obviously capable of getting some nice tones, but I guess most of the people putting videos up aren't into getting heavier tones

Thanks for taking the time to respond and give me your input, I appreciate it!

Quote by J.D.Soto
Hey pal, if you haven't made your decision yet I'd say something worth looking into is the Blackstar HT - 40. It doesn't have the built in effects options that the POD offers but it is more than capable of versatility as far as great natural distortion and great cleans. It's 40 watts, fully tubed (2 EL34s, and 2 ECC83s), has two footswitchable channels, one 12" Celestion and tons of EQ tweaking abilities. Based on what you've said, I think that this amp would do the trick. Best of luck man!


I remember looking into the HT series awhile back and for some reason I wasn't very impressed. I don't know why because now that I'm looking back into them they're sounding pretty great! When I first read your post my mind automatically added "Vintage 30" after you said Celestion, but I'm assuming this isn't the case sadly.... The amp does sound like it would suit my needs nicely though, I'll have to look into it further. Thanks for the advice!
Quote by ErikLensherr
Shitting isn't a perk. Shitting is a hassle.
#15
Blackstar likes to use the Celestion Seventy 80, which is pathetic for a combo just under $700. You can do better.
Ibanez Prestige RG852MPB
Ibanez Prestige RG652KFX
ESP E-II M-1
LTD AW-7
Schecter Loomis NT
EVH 5150 III 50
PRS 212 DB
Line 6 POD HD500X
Deadhorse OD/Boss HM-2
#16
^ I agree. I can't get behind that company, too much BS and cost cutting. Don't piss on me and tell me it's raining.

On and TS, BTBAM use Dual Rectifiers, so I haven't nailed their tone, but I'm not too far off really. Mastodon and Baroness really don't use too much gain or distortion, their heaviness comes from their tunings, tightness, and post production. You can find their rigs online. Mastodon is basically a bunch of JCM800s and Baroness is BadCats (which are close to hotrodded JCM800s). The JCA will have as much gain on tap as those, if not more.
#17
If I was trying to do it on the cheap I'd go for one of Jet City's SLO versions. But I love SLO's so take that into account, SLO's may not be your thing. With my current band the only module I use in the RM100 is a SLO one from Jaded Faith. I could do it as easily with a JCA100H and it would have been a lot cheaper. The RM100 gives me Fender, Marshall, Soldano and Mesa tones so it's something that will work for me regardless of what I play in the future. It's like having a modeler but done with tubes. I've spent well over a grand on modules alone though. I think it's well worth it because it sounds incredible.
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
Last edited by Cathbard at Oct 1, 2014,
#18
Quote by J.D.Soto
Hey pal, if you haven't made your decision yet I'd say something worth looking into is the Blackstar HT - 40. It doesn't have the built in effects options that the POD offers but it is more than capable of versatility as far as great natural distortion and great cleans. It's 40 watts, fully tubed (2 EL34s, and 2 ECC83s), has two footswitchable channels, one 12" Celestion and tons of EQ tweaking abilities. Based on what you've said, I think that this amp would do the trick. Best of luck man!


not all tube *cough*
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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